n South African Medical Journal - Ebola : lessons learned : editorial

Volume 105, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



On Ebola we went from global indifference, to global fear, to global response and now to global fatigue. We must finish the job. (Joanne Liu, President, Médicins sans Frontières, July 2015) The international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was slow and inadequate, destroying families, economies and the already fragile health systems of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. To date, there have been 27 705 documented cases and 11 269 reported deaths. Previous Ebola outbreaks occurred in isolated areas of Central Africa, affected at most a few hundred people, and were rapidly contained. There were more cases and more deaths with this West African outbreak than with all previous outbreaks added together. It is important that lessons are learned so that a humanitarian crisis on this scale never occurs again, whether due to Ebola or another infectious disease.

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