U.S. Spends Hundreds of Millions on Ebola Treated Centers--Which Are Used by 28 Patients

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/12/world/africa/idle-ebola-clinics-in-liberia-are-seen-as-misstep-in-us-relief-effort.html?_r=0

What a massive waste! Surely someone should have seen the changing situation and stopped the construction.

Well, they can be used — or left empty — when the next big scare comes around.

Are the buildings soundly constructed? Then they can be re purposed for something else. They need not go to waste.

Gee, new medical facilities where there is chronic disease and chronic shortage of staff and facilities.
What a waste…

I’m just curious here - are these Ebola treatment centers or infectious disease treatment centers that can be used to treat Ebola victims?

Because as I recall, when Ebola first became a concern the biggest question the various news agencies hyped (I’m looking at you, CNN) was “why aren’t there more first-class infectious disease treatment centers?”

To nitpick something the OP said: the treatment centers didn’t cost hundreds of millions. The whole DOD response cost a lot, of which building these buildings was one expense.

If an epidemic does break out those facilities will make all the difference. We got very lucky last year. An Ebola patient just showing up in a Dallas ER and infecting nurses. That could have gotten bad for a lot of people in a hurry.

Its too late to build these facilities after an epidemic begins. I’m quite thankful they were built and ready for use in an emergency.

The DoD spends billions on things like more tanks than the military wants or so many planes that the extra ones are parked in the desert, and you’re upset about a much smaller amount spent in a public health crisis?

Kill people good.
Cure people bad.

In the US, this is not a novel concept.

You left out the part about “Obama did it; it must be bad!!!111!!!1”.

Right. They may be set up today as Ebola centers, but if the designers were halfway smart (perhaps too big of an expectation?), they made it at least somewhat versatile so that it could e.g. be used in a future killer flu epidemic or whatnot.

How different, in design and/or construction, would an Ebola-specific center be from a generic incredibly-infectious-deadly-disease center? It seems to me that if you build a center with the idea of dealing with the most recent Ebola outbreak, you have de facto built an infectious disease treatment center, albeit one that might be overkill for something like a new influenza strain.

I doubt there’s anything about these centers that makes them useless for every infectious disease except Ebola.

I assume the biggest difference would be in air handing. An ebola center wouldn’t be concerned about total isolation, including filtered air, because it doesn’t spread through the air. Some other outbreak like a flu pandemic may require a significanly higher degree of isolation

Nothing enough ebola centers would spread the epidemic. Its like a vaccine, you don’t want to treat the disease, you want to prevent it in the first place.

ISTM whether the facilities will have lasting value has almost nothing to do with the buildings & equipment there today (as debated just above). But instead it depends entirely on funding for their supplies and employees in the future.

The buildings will be useful as long as somebody pays to have staff & supplies on hand. If we / EU / UN stop paying for that, within a couple years the host countries will find them to be unaffordable white elephants sucking the rest of their pitiful public health services dry. The buildings will then be abandoned to looters.

This tragedy is played out countless times in First World interactions with Third World countries. And it doesn’t matter whether the donor is a government, a charity, or an individual. Everybody likes to give stuff; nobody likes to give operating budget. One is sexy & has photo ops. The other is boring and is perceived as feeding money into corruption.

But it absolutely, positively takes both to accomplish anything.

THIS x 100,000.

I realize this post is a few weeks old, but you are 100% correct.

There is sometimes no way around it, it is just a fact of life in some countries and if you don’t want to engage it might as well not engage at all.