Religious tradition disregards modern medicine (Ebola)

Religious tradition disregards modern medicine
The turn toward religion and god for protection against the Ebola virus is creating a prime environment where the virus can spread a lot easier. In the article As Ebola epidemic tightens grip, west Africa turns to religion for succor by Monica Mark it is highlighted that in Africa there is a growing belief in using faith to bring the Ebola epidemic to an end, as a result of this many people attend church services where there are large crowds of people gathered. This creates a prime situation for the transmission and spread of the virus while creating hope that god will stop the virus. Even though the article states that there are precautions taken; such as thorough washing of hands in chlorinated water before holding hands, and communion being given with as little contact as possible in gatherings like this a single sneeze can have a drastic impact. This increase in traditional practices in a way disregards the natural way in which the disease is spread. It seems as though modern medicine is not being accepted.
I believe that religious groups should not just dismiss the dangers of diseases and viruses proven by modern medicine in order to perform institutionalized rituals. I feel that this occurrence is somewhat similar to the African traditional response to tuberculosis in the 1970s. During that period of time, many Africans went to healers for treatment before attending hospitals which made it much harder for modern medicine to work because by the time they attended hospital care, the virus had already developed much more. This type of approach will make it harder for modern medicine because the disease is able to spread much more before treatment is even found.
One of the outstanding parts of the article is about how Monica Mark noticed that in a supermarket there was a message telling people to turn to god and all the people who are a part of a religion to start praying and telling non believers to start believing in god. I believe these types of religious messages are completely wrong in promising that they will bring a stop to the epidemic in place. Religions should not make these promises because it can endanger many people just by trying to get more and more people to partake in religious gatherings, and disregarding how the virus can spread. The article also makes a strong case against these gatherings by bringing up the situation of the imported case of Ebola in Senegal and the successful response to it, through the actions of monitoring 74 contacts of the patient in order to contain it and stop any outbreak. What Senegal did to stop any outbreak is important to note because it proves that segregating the virus is important in stopping in protecting everyone from the virus, considering this, religions getting people to gather are not allowing people to be safe.
Zlch #200 #uwreligions


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