The ebola crisis in Guinea, Sierra leone and Liberia has once again bought home how people in UK lack a sufficiently informed world view. With the high profile news coverage, it is clear that many people consider Africa to be one place, rather than a huge continent divided into some 58 sovereign and independent countries.

Because of the ebola scare tourism to The Gambia has reduced by 60%, although the nearest officially reported occurrence of the disease is some 500 miles from the Gambia border. This is a similar distance from UK to Switzerland.
Notwithstanding that, tourists visiting other parts of Africa are down in numbers. It is a very good time for cheap airline tickets to East Africa and South Africa! This does seem to be a non-sense.

Tourism a significant role in the economy of The Gambia and many of the local people rely on tourists as they work in restaurants, hotels, have market stalls, act as guides and do many other taks which rely on tourist money. For many this will be bad year, made worse by a harvest dimished by late rains.

At the moment visiting The Gambia is as safe as it was this time last year. The hair raising headlines about a dreadful disease 500 miles away has panicked people to stay away.
Worse still Gambian visitors to the UK have not been welcomed by their erstwhile genial hosts!

A large number of people have died, some 4,500, which is tragic and there are many ebola orphans. In the war zones of Syria and Iraq the death toll over the last three years is some 160,000 and the killing continues.

There are some 5 road deaths a day in the UK but do people stop driving? Some 1000 people die each year in London due to air pollution, but do people stop visiting London?

Ebola is a frightening disease, but at the moment its transmission is tortuous. It is spread by direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person (dead or alive). In West Africa it is the close kin and medical staff which are most affected, in Europe and USA it is health-workers who catch the disease. The disease is contained within the three West African countries, fortunately it has not gone viral.

People need a course of global citizenship education and risk analysis. They need education in interpreting the news media! The writer for one fully intends to visit the Gambia within the month.