“Are you sure you want to travel there right now? Couldn’t you get … Ebola?”
My friend hesitantly asked me this question before my recent trip to Uganda, in eastern Africa. I found a map and showed my well-meaning friend the actual distance from the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak to Uganda. It’s about 4,500 miles, which is well over the distance from California to New York.
My friend isn’t the only one to question the safety of traveling these days. Many members of the mainstream media are asking if it’s safe to travel to Africa right now. In a culture where fear sells, it’s easy to catastrophize, fret and worry.
But what if we took a moment to look past the hype and fear and studied some of the actual facts about Ebola?
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 4,400 people. The countries most severely affected are Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia with a few reported cases in Nigeria.
To date, there have been no reported cases in Burkina Faso, Ghana or Togo, where Compassion ministers to almost 125,000 children through more than 500 church-based child development centers.