Playing with Bats
Story by Annie Sen Gupta | Art by Rohit Karandadi
This story uses a real-life narrative to show how everyday lives – innocent lives – can be affected by goings-on in which they have no say.
The Ebola virus
Ebola virus disease (EVD), formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness affecting humans and other primates. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals (such as fruit bats, porcupines and non-human primates) and then spreads in the human population through direct contact with the blood, secretions, organs or other bodily fluids of infected people, and with surfaces and materials (e.g. bedding, clothing) contaminated with these fluids.
The WHO website has a comprehensive resource on Ebola:
This page on the WHO site provides an overview of the specific outbreak that is the subject of our story:
This is a comprehensive factsheet about the outbreak, which makes its salient points easy to understand:
These articles look at the real-life human faces of those affected by the outbreak:
Mentioned in the story, akamu is a traditional West African pudding also known as ogi or pap, made from fermented corn.
Timber and deforestation
Global demand for low-cost wood products is driving a multibillion-dollar illegal and unsustainable logging industry in forests across the world. According to some estimates, illegal logging accounts for between 8 and 10% of global forest product output and trade. It also accounts for 40 to 50% of all logging in some of the world’s most valuable and endangered forests.
These sites provide an overview of the problem:
These articles highlight the risk of pandemics as a fallout of deforestation: