TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

International group reviews politics of Ebola response

The Ebola crisis and its politics | Courtesy of waterandhealth.org
The International Crisis Group recently reported on the various politics involved in the Ebola crisis that reached its height in the middle of 2014.

At the epidemic's worst, global leaders had concerns that social order in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone would be decimated. After the U.N. Security Council declared the epidemic a threat to security and peace, international mobilization significantly helped with the intervention.

Many people blamed the outbreak on population mobility, poor health systems, limited resources, lack of support, and a lack of familiarity with the virus. Officials now realize the distrust among the state and its leaders and institutions caused significant problems. People also distrusted the international community, which ignored the early warnings of the epidemic before it became a global health concern.

The virus' spread was also attributed to skepticism from people toward their government and what their leaders said and asked them to do. This distrust was based on experience due to political corruption and opportunism; many people in West Africa first thought Ebola was a way to gain more funding or to further solidify the status of the ruling elites. Unfortunately, when there was a significant response to the crisis, political manipulations and machinations inhibited the response efforts.

Experts say that these lessons must be learned in all of its factors so that the next regional health crisis does not become the costly, disruptive worldwide health crisis that the Ebola epidemic became.

Organizations in this story

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