Let me clarify why I said this from the beginning. In a past life I worked in development and in 2012, I was in Haiti just after the earthquake and the introduction of cholera to Hispaniola (the island that is Haiti and the Dominican republic). https://twitter.com/Nanjala1/status/1233258227539816453
When you study cholera in Haiti you see quite clearly how presumptions about wealth and power can impact how diseases spread. People see poor countries as places where diseases come from, not places where diseases can be introduced, so the intense scrutiny is one sided.
Before 2010 there was no cholera in Haiti. In preparing peacekeepers for deployment, the UN prepared them thoroughly for tropical diseases but crucially, did not screen them for diseases they might introduce to the island. The fear was they would catch something in Haiti.
The sanitation at the UN peacekeeper camp was allegedly so poor that it drained directly into the water supply. Peacekeepers were on all kinds of medication to protect them from tropical diseases, but there was little effort to protect Haitians.
As of 2017, 7% of Haitians or about 800,000 people have been affected by cholera. 9,606 people have died. And while the public health system is slowly adjusting, Haiti will never be the same again. People's relationship to public sources of water has changed permanently.
When Africans go to Europe, our flights are sprayed with disinfectants and insect repellant. We need a minimum of €30,000 in medical insurance. At the point of visa application we are asked health questions. Some countries ask for TB clearance.
Most Europeans get their visas at the border. Some argue about Yellow Fever and vaccination requirements. The presumption is that diseases come *from* Africa not *to* Africa, so the scrutiny cuts one way. This is the vulnerability that made this turn of events almost inevitable.
The response isn't a flight ban. You want a sensible response to that presumption - screen everyone from an affected country before they get on a plane, no exceptions. Flights from China will likely get screened- the presumption doesn't exist in relation to Africa. But Europe?
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