Ebola tragedy is also a story of graft
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at 10:28AM
Richard L. Cassin in Corruption Perceptions Index, Ebola, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, World Health Organization

The current Ebola outbreak has now infected at least 1,975 people and claimed more than 1,000 lives, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare an International Public Health Emergency.

The worst hit countries in the outbreak are Guinea with 510 cases and 377 deaths, Sierra Leone with 785 cases and 334 deaths, Liberia with 670 cases and 305 deaths, and Nigeria with 12 cases and 3 deaths.

One reason the fatality rate is so high -- up to 90% in some regions, according to WHO -- is because intensive care facilities are needed to administer treatments but are "rare in west Africa."

Although an estimated $3 trillion is spent worldwide on heath services every year, WHO said the money "is a powerful magnet for corruption."

"In fact experts estimate that 10 – 25% of global spending on public procurement of medicines is lost to corruption," WHO said.

The countries worst hit by this Ebola outbreak have an average rank on the Corruption Perceptions Index of 124.

The CPI measures the perceived graft of 177 countries and territories.

Guinea ranks 150, Sierra Leone is 119, Liberia is 83, and Nigeria is 144.

WHO said of the graft: "Millions of people -- in some of the poorest countries -- are being robbed of their health as life-saving resources for essential medicines and for the recruitment of medical professionals are siphoned off."

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

Article originally appeared on The FCPA Blog (https://www.fcpablog.com/).
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