I have often considered the medical staff, the doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff of Medecin Sans Frontieres to be the bravest of the brave; going as they do, to the places where medical help is both urgently needed, and in very short supply. They go to the typhoon-shattered beaches and towns, they arrive at the epicentres of earthquakes, always there to minister to the wounded, the crushed and the mute survivors, dazed and catatonic.
However, when MSF staff decide on a certain protocol, or a manner of behaviour which is entirely contrary to received wisdom, when engaged in the treatment of a viral disease such as Ebola, I am forced to revise my earlier opinion of MSF, and instead categorise them as a bunch of deadly fools.
They state, on their updated website regarding the Ebola outbreak that “Any regulation not based on scientific medical grounds, which would isolate healthy aid workers, will very likely serve as a disincentive to others to combat the epidemic at its source, in West Africa.”
What, I wonder, would their considered response be to the poor bloody people who sat either beside or near to this woman who had told the Health Department people at Heathrow that, although she had no temperature, she felt unwell; but was told, BY THOSE SAME EXPERTS, that she was okay to fly to Glasgow. That same woman, who is now in the grip of Ebola, in an isolation ward in London.