The Ebola crisis in West Africa
by Humanitarian Practice Network June 2015

This edition of Humanitarian Exchange focuses on the humanitarian crisis created in West Africa by the Ebola outbreak, the largest and most complex since the virus was discovered in 1976. More than 11,000 people are believed to have died and over 26,300 cases have been reported. While Liberia was declared Ebola-free on 9 May 2015, Sierra Leone and Guinea are still struggling to contain the disease and assess the social and economic impact of the crisis.

  • In her lead article, Florika Fink-Hooijer analyses the weaknesses and inefficiencies in global humanitarian health governance revealed by the Ebola crisis.
  • Aspects of humanitarian–military engagement are discussed by André Heller Pérache in the context of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s unprecedented call for biohazard containment teams.
  • Josiah Kaplan and Evan Easton-Calabria highlight how humanitarians are using innovations in military medicine to combat Ebola.
  • Clea Kahn argues that characterising the outbreak as a public health crisis resulted in a failure to adequately consider the dignity and humanity of affected people.
  • Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie sheds light on the role of the Sierra Leonean diaspora in the response.
  • Catherine Meredith and her co-authors report on Oxfam’s bottom-up approach to the response.
  • Craig Dean and Kelly Hawrylyshyn look at the role of children’s and youth groups.
  • Liz Hughes and Nick McWilliam explore how GIS mapping has been used in planning and targeting interventions.
  • Jean-Martin Bauer and his co-authors report on the innovative use of mobile technology for monitoring food security.
  • Articles by Lisa Reilly and Raquel Vazquez Llorente and Clara Hawkshaw highlight risk management and training approaches to the crisis.
  • Lisa Guppy reflects on the benefits and challenges of carrying out research during the outbreak.
  • The edition ends with an article by Nadia Berger and Grace Tang on the importance of translation in the response.

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