Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Op-Ed

Hollow Words and an Exponential Horror

Author: Laurie Garrett
Foreign Policy

Obama called the world to action against Ebola, but most countries are only paying lip service to the coming catastrophe. Laurie Garrett asks two questions about this newly announced war on Ebola in this article for ForeignPolicy.com: Will personnel and resources reach West Africa rapidly enough to dam the viral flow, and will the nations of the world learn from this disaster to build institutions and long-term targets that prevent pandemics in the future?

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Primary Sources

White House Fact Sheet: U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa

President Barack Obama spoke with health experts at the Center for Disease Control on September 16, 2014, and the White House relased this fact sheet to outline U.S. actions to combat Ebola in West Africa and to contain its spread, including sending health workers, military forces, and medical supplies, funding vaccine development, and supporting public service announcements and education about the disease.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Op-Ed

Can the US Army Degrade and Destroy Ebola?

Author: Laurie Garrett
Foreign Policy

As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa accelerates beyond the capacity to count its toll, an unprecedented escalation in global support is evident, led by U.S. President Barack Obama's call for U.S. military intervention. In this op-ed for Foreign Policy, Laurie Garrett argues, "Nothing short of heroic, record-breaking mobilization is necessary at this late stage in the epidemic."

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Primary Sources

African Union Decision on the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak

In August 2014, African Union (AU) established the AU Support to Ebola Outbreak in West-Africa (ASEOWA) mission to send health personnel from Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, and Ethiopia to effected countries in West Africa. The African Union Executive Council released an official decision about AU reponse to the Ebola epidemic on September 9, 2014, and the first deployment of volunteers will go to Liberia, followed by a deployment to Sierra Leone.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Op-Ed

We Could Have Stopped This

Author: Laurie Garrett
Foreign Policy

When the most recent outbreak of Ebola began in March 2014, it could have been stopped with inexpensive, low-technology approaches. But the world largely ignored the unfolding epidemic. Now, the epidemic is skyrocketing because of this negligence. In this piece for ForeignPolicy.com, Laurie Garrett explains what the World Health Organization and the United Nations have not explained to date, and talks with Barbara Kerstiens, a former Doctors Without Borders volunteer who worked in the Kikwit epidemic in 1995, about lessons learned.

See more in Global; Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Primary Sources

Remarks by Médecins Sans Frontières International President at UN Special Briefing on Ebola

Dr. Joanne Liu, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières, spoke at UN Special Briefing on Ebola on September 2, 2014. Dr. Liu lists priorities as "scaling up isolation centers; deploying mobile laboratories to improve diagnostic capabilities; establishing dedicated air bridges to move personnel and equipment to and within West Africa; and building a regional network of field hospitals to treat suspected or infected medical personnel."

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics

Op-Ed

Heartless but Effective: I've Seen 'Cordon Sanitaire' Work Against Ebola

Author: Laurie Garrett
The New Republic

The governments of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have escalated their counterattack on the Ebola virus, imposing cordons sanitaires aimed at isolating entire regions of their countries in hopes of containing the enemy. Although many in the media accuse these governments of being inhumane or overly severe, Laurie Garrett pulls from her experience in the Ebola outbreak of 1995 in Kikwit, Zaire to show that these dramatic steps can work.

See more in Africa (sub-Saharan); Public Health Threats and Pandemics