The American computer giant and billionaire, Bill Gates and his wife Malinda have done it again. These generous Americans, in the noble tradition of John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie and many others, became very rich and decided to share their fortunes with suffering humanity.
Bill Gates, an exponent of American ingenuity, has probably made more money that Rockefeller, Ford and Carnegie. But it is they who paved the way for him, first by their entrepreneurial daring—creating enterprises and doggedly building them up to last throughout the ages; and by GIVING BACK, in thanksgiving to God for making them successful.
Bill and his wife Malinda have been giving back for many years now, helping to lift the poor out of poverty by financing worthy causes that help do that. Now they have done it again. On Wednesday they announced that they were contributing a staggering $US$50 million, to be made “immediately available.” to fight Ebola in West Africa.
There are no words adequate to express the West African people’s gratitude to Bill and Malinda for this most generous outpouring of love, compassion and resolve to reach out to these beleaguered (besieged, plagued) people, who are dropping dead all over the place for no sin or crime they have committed. They are victims of a deadly Ebola epidemic, born, we are told, of a deadly virus that may have been injected into West African children and others by adventurous scientists, probably with a hidden agenda.
Now people are dying in great numbers, especially in Liberia, but also in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. They are dying not only from Ebola, but also from non-treatment of other diseases because so many hospitals and health centers are closed. They are dying also as a result of fear—fear of health workers who are afraid to touch anyone who is sick, fearing that that sick person has Ebola, and that the health workers might go the way of so many of their colleagues, including nurses and doctors—to their untimely death having contracted the virus from those they were trying to help.
We think US$50 million is a lot of money, and coming from only one source, the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation, it represents a highly significant contribution to the anti-Ebola crusade.
We know that, as the givers have directed, the money is immediately available. But how will it be spent? How will it be divided among the three countries—three because petroleum-rich Nigeria, where the virus has a small impact—may not need as much as their West African neighbors, the three countries hardest hit.
There are many immediate needs for that money: first, well equipped treatment centers. The people of Ganta, Nimba County’s most populous city and commercial hub, has no treatment centers and people are dropping dead as a result. In Gbolokai-Ta in Bong County’s Salala District, nine people in this small town died in one day, and a short while later the town’s only public school teacher died, too, leaving a household of 16 dependents. This has created great fear in the town. And the stalwart townsfolk who have come forward to bury their dead have used their bare hands, “protected” by leaves to do so! There is no treatment center in Gbolokai-Ta.
There is also the issue of the children, who are dying, too, after their parents and other relatives because of the lack, not only of health and medical care, but also food and water. So the Gates money must be applied to these, too—food, water and care.
When it comes to water, the immediate answer is mineral water, to be supplied in huge quantities; but the long-term solution is wells and bore holes in the towns and villages, and efficient crews to maintain them. We hope some of the Gates money can be applied here, too.
Then there is the issue of personal protective equipment (PPE), which is urgently needed by the health and medical workers. These are urgently needed to put them back to work.
Thank you, Bill and Malinda Gates! May God grant that your extraordinary largesse will be used prudently, to wipe Ebola from the shores of West Africa.