7.3.a Ebola -Sierra Leone

  • Created by: lee8444
  • Created on: 27-02-20 16:14

Causes of the Ebola outbreak


  • Deforestation destroyed bat habitats and so they were forced to live closer to villages
  • Bats lead to disease events as they can fly, easily migrate and can carry Ebola without the disease impacting the bat population


  • Lack of public spending led to underfunded hospitals, not enough doctors, damaged infrastructure and not enough medical equipment to deal with a large outbreak
  • Cultural, tribal beliefs increased the spread due to lack of education, naivety without looking for professional, medical help
  • There is a dense population within the villages
  • Mis-information led to people being treated incorrectly as they were naive with poor communication
  • No meetings or sharing of information
  • Borders are extremely easy to cross with no fence or boundary (migration)
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Impacts of Ebola on West Africa

  • $2.2 billion was lost in GDP of the 3 countries
  • Loss in private sector growth, agricultural growth and cross-border trade
  • Sierra Leone lost 7% of their healthcare workers
  • Other diseases weren't given attention or treated such as HIV or malaria leading to an extra 10,600 deaths
  • 20% of ebola was children under 15
  • 17,300 children were orphaned
  • Schools closed in 2014 losing 1,848 hours of education - 39 weeks of education
  • A gap in vaccination programmes, decrease by 30%
  • Response cost ACs $3.611 billion
  • Screenings of 339,000 people - costs money and time
  • Cost money to train up more healthcare workers
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Mitigation strategies (1)

Contact tracing - direct

  • 300 workers tracking ebola cases
  • Tracking known cases to see who they have been in contact with
  • Managed to find 2,500 contacts over 20 days
  • Kailhun district - the region where most cases were
  • Movement can be tracked
  • Ensures early detection
  • Allows immediate treatment
  • Health workers were educated to protect themselves when going door-to-door
  • There is a risk with going door-to-door with potentially infected people
  • Difficult getting the ill to engage as they didn't want family and friends to be harrassed
  • Only 39% of contacts had data on the addresses of those they have been in contact with due to poor infrastructure
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Mitigation strategies (2)

WHO Radio - indirect

  • Passed on key messages to the whole country
  • Told to reduce traditional practices
  • Encouraged the spread of the message to reach everyone
  • Had a wide outreach
  • Heard in workplaces for better sanitation practices
  • Didn't risk contact with doctors risking their lives
  • The message is easily changed when passed from person-to-person
  • Many people didn't have radios - inequality
  • Some were sceptical - especially the messages against traditional practices
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Mitigation strategies (3)

117 Call Alert - indirect

  • Phone alert system
  • After the epidemic
  • People could report deaths or suspicion if someone could be infected
  • 350,000 calls over 2 years
  • Calls could be geolocated to look at what areas needed the most help
  • Allowed for reports without coming into contact with doctors
  • Provided jobs for people receiving phone calls and geolocating them
  • Quick to report and help
  • Phone lines were very busy
  • Required many workers
  • Prank calls
  • Not everyone has a phone - inequality
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Mitigation strategies (4)

CDC (centre for disease control) - Infection Control - direct

  • Aimed to train healthcare workers
  • Created safeguarding techniques
  • Checked 4 government hospitals for quality standards and their sanitation
  • Trained 50 ministry of health staff
  • Increased education on healthcare
  • Increased professional response to the outbreak
  • Checked and improved the healthcare already in place
  • Very high cost
  • Contact with potentially infected in hospitals which could've easily passed around the professionals
  • Teaching wasn't always carried out correctly for everyone
  • Very time consuming to train all the health care workers
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