THE BLOG

When Ebola Became Real

07/10/2014 14:54 BST | Updated 06/12/2014 10:59 GMT

'3k Britons dead in two weeks with that number likely to double every few weeks.'

What would you do if you woke up to a headline like this? How would you react? It's happening, just not in our country.

Last week in Dallas, Texas the first case of Ebola outside of Africa hit. It is only since GlastoSmithKline has started to make more than ten thousand doses of its experimental Ebola vaccines.

Is it not sad that it has it taken newspaper headlines for us to respond? One single person in America and the threat of this deadly disease hitting our shores has now scared mongered us into realising how real this awful pandemic really is. Why has it taken this one person for us to realise three thousand people have died in the past two weeks - just not in our country?

With the worst outbreak of Ebola on record, this disease has killed more than three thousand people in four West African countries. An estimated 20,000 people are set to be infected from this incurable life-threatening disease.

One lone person infected in America shouldn't be the wakeup call we need. America will be fine. We will be fine. Africa won't. Why has it taken almost 40 years to realise that tropical diseases in Africa are very real? And why does it take an eye grabbing headline for us to really wake up?

It shouldn't take a strong headline for us to open our eyes. It also shouldn't take a social media campaign for us to react. The Ice Bucket Challenge raised more than 10 million dollars and had the campaign not have been created - we wouldn't have acted. The same acts true for the No Make Up selfie.

Each year more than 300m people are infected with malaria alone in Africa. Imagine waking up every day to know that you face the risk of being infected by a disease there is no cure for? Imagine knowing you won't have access to the facilities to be treated. Imagine also knowing that your family are at a high risk of developing the disease? We wouldn't let it happen.

Of course, things are different here. We have a strong economy, we have world class health centres - we are of the lucky ones.

This isn't a plea for you to donate, although donations do always help. This is a plea for everyone to wake up. Wake up to realise that it shouldn't be a social media campaign, or a headline that makes you understand the realness of what is going on all over the world.

It's also times like this to remember not to take things for granted. The NHS is a service to be appreciated. The fact that we have such world renowned healthcare isn't to be overlooked. The fact that our children are being educated to such high standards isn't something to take for granted. We are all incredibly lucky. Other people aren't.

Don't let the media be what pushes you to act. Act because you want to. Act because it's the right thing to do.

And for as cheesy as it may sound, you are one of the fortunate ones who woke up as a citizen of one of the lucky countries. Make yourself a citizen of one of the unlucky ones too.