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Understanding why ebola deaths occur at home in urban Montserrado County, Liberia

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) home deaths occur as the result of infected persons not being detected early and sent to Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) where they can access care and have an improved chance of survival. From a public health standpoint, EVD deaths should not occur at home. Individuals suspected of being infected with EVD should be identified through case investigations or contact tracing efforts and then referred to an ETU, thus decreasing their risk of dying as well as minimising the risk of exposing Continue reading →

Ebola: demanding accountability and mobilizing societies to avoid a deadly relapse

The enduring Ebola epidemic has taught the world some hard lessons over the last 12 months, which we must take to heart. Despite early warnings, and the extraordinary efforts of local healthcare workers and private medical humanitarian organisations, the epidemic has exposed the institutional failures that saw the Ebola outbreak spiral far out of control, with tragic and avoidable consequences. In particular, we should reflect on the role civil society must play in response, and how it can spur on mandated international bodies to shake Continue reading →

Community-Based Ebola Care Centres: A Formative Evaluation

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa differed from others in its unprecedented size and the high proportion of human-to-human transmission occurring in the community. This report presents an analysis of the impact of Community Care Centres (CCCs) on communities in Sierra Leone. Much has been written about the leadership and coordination of the response – or the lack of it. The emphasis of this evaluation is on the views on the development, implementation and relevance of the CCCs from the perspective of the communities next Continue reading →

Children’s Ebola Recovery Assessment: Sierra Leone

Nearly half the population of Sierra Leone is under the age of 18 years and the impact of the Ebola crisis on their lives now and on their future opportunities has been far-reaching: no school; loss of family members and friends to the virus; and changing roles and responsibilities in the home and the community. While the priority now remains meeting the goal of zero cases, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) is also developing a comprehensive strategy aimed at supporting communities to recover from Continue reading →

Africa APPG inquiry: Community led health systems & the Ebola outbreak

The Ebola crisis of 2014-15 has brought questions around the roles of communities and health systems into sharp relief – both in relation to crisis response, and to the challenges of post-crisis recovery and building resilience to future epidemics. The Institute of Development Studies is pleased to make this submission to the APPG inquiry on these crucial questions. This submission draws upon this work and highlights the need for developing health systems and health crisis response mechanisms that actively seek, engage and adapt to local Continue reading →

Aid agencies must continue to adapt to changing demands of Ebola crisis

Some of the UK’s leading aid agencies’ prevention work, such as safe burials and awareness raising, in response to the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone is “impressive” but must continue to adapt to the changing situation in West Africa, an independent review of the DEC response said today. The Ebola crisis appeal response review conducted in March 2015 by the Institute of Development Studies for the DEC found that member agencies utilised their existing networks and relationships in Sierra Leone to scale up programmes after Continue reading →

Ebola Crisis Appeal – Response Review

This is the review of the Ebola Crisis Appeal Response in Sierra Leone of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) that unites 13 of the largest UK humanitarian charities to raise funds in response to major international humanitarian crises. The review team consisted of an external team leader, a DEC member representative and the DEC chief executive with complementary roles and expertise. Fieldwork took place from 8th to 18th February. The team visited Freetown and Western Area, Port Loko Bombali, and Tonkolili. They used semi-structured questionnaires to Continue reading →

Special Report: Why Sierra Leone Can’t Get Rid of Ebola

Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the president of the Republic of Sierra Leone, was having trouble “getting to zero,” and his underlings were getting antsy. “We need one more push,” said Major Palo Conteh, the commander of Sierra Leone’s National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) and a former Olympic quarter miler. “It’s like in the 400 meters when you’re 20 meters from the finish line, that’s the time to kick hard.” Brigadier General David Taluva, a jovial officer with the physique of a shot putter, had other Continue reading →

Resistance in Guinea

There have been numerous recent analyses of the different manifestations of ‘resistance’ and ‘reticence’ that continue to be critical in Guinea. The socio-historical context that has contributed to deep-rooted mistrust of the State and authority (a sense of ‘abandonment’ [the West has only returned to intervene in Guinea to ‘count cases’ and international actors will again abandon the country when cases are ‘acceptably low’]; heavy-handed or repressive interventions; the perception that elites treat people as if they are disposable and unworthy etc.) is well recognised. Continue reading →

Managing health crises after Ebola

The outbreak of Ebola that has affected West Africa since December 2013 is the largest to date, with enormous human and economic costs. It has also exposed weaknesses in the global response system, including the handling of communication and complex social responses. What can we learn from this to better manage future health emergencies? This Spotlight presents an in-depth analysis including opinions, facts and figures, and key resources. It features commentary by Sylvie Briand of the WHO, Rosamund Southgate of Médecins Sans Frontières and Annie Continue reading →