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- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2015
- West Africa: Ebola Outbreak - Mar 2014
- Sierra Leone: Wild Fires - Jan 2013
- Sierra Leone/Guinea: Cholera Outbreak - Feb 2012
- West/Central Africa: Floods - Jun 2010
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods and Landslides - Aug 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2007
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2007
Amanda Glassman Vice President for Programs and Director of Global Health Policy Center for Global Development
Along with my colleagues at the Center, I have been watching the Ebola epidemic unfold in West Africa and keeping a close eye on the world’s response. As you know, this outbreak was unprecedented in scale and impact. Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea endured a total of more than 28,600 cases of the virus and 11,300 deaths. The disease took a heavy toll not only on families, but also on the health systems and economies of the afflicted countries.
This is a joint post with Alan Whiteside, CIGI Chair in Global Health Policy, BSIA and Professor Emeritus, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Since the first case of Ebola appeared last year, the virus has infected nearly 10,000 people. The epidemic is concentrated in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea — post-conflict countries with incredibly weak health systems. It stands to have severe health, social, and economic consequences and is arguably the most pressing challenge to global health security the world has faced in decades.
As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa endures, some parallels are being drawn between the virus and HIV/AIDS. Both are spread by quite specific human behavior which is under conscious control: HIV by unprotected sex, Ebola by unsanitary burial practices, and both by contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. However, with an incubation period of less than three weeks, Ebola progresses from infection to infectiousness more than 100 times as fast as untreated HIV. Thus, Ebola is like a pre-treatment HIV epidemic on steroids.
By Justin Sandefur
This is a joint-post with Alaina Varvaloucas. Varvaloucas is a student at Yale Law School and formerly worked for Oxford University’s Centre for the Study of African Economies, based in Freetown.