The 2014 Ebola outbreak was the most severe of its kind. At the height of the crisis, 800 to 1,000 new cases were reported per week in Africa across the three most heavily affected countries. As of last week, there were only 12 confirmed cases. What must be done to prevent and mitigate future crises of this nature?
Public health experts can identify nations that are vulnerable to the occurrence and impact of future outbreaks of Ebola or other emergencies by using a screening tool that evaluates a nation's strengths across a wide range of measures such as political strength and health care capabilities.
The experiences of African countries that successfully contained Ebola early can be informative for government officials, international organizations, and aid agencies seeking to capture the underlying factors that affect countries' resilience to such outbreaks and can help them prepare for high-risk scenarios.
For much of 2014, the world has confronted the most deadly Ebola outbreak since the discovery of the disease in 1976. What lessons have emerged? What should the world do to better prepare for transnational outbreaks?
Melinda Moore, a RAND public health physician and senior researcher, hosted an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit to answer questions about Ebola, including whether a U.S. travel ban would help prevent the spread of the deadly disease.
No amount of research can save those who've already perished from Ebola in West Africa, but our capacity to learn from such tragedies is a silver lining that has historically enhanced global resilience to disease. With that in mind, here are six key lessons from the outbreak.
The Liberian National Police (LNP) will become the chief provider of security in Liberia as the United Nations Mission in Liberia is reduced. Given the LNP's capabilities and complexity, its past manipulation by former President Charles Taylor, and a pattern of police misconduct in much of Africa, the question of oversight is critical.
Liberia's new government has made security sector transformation a high priority. Immediate steps toward implementation of a security structure include development of detailed integrated force plans with the U.S. and the UN; designs for a small police quick-reaction unit and small Coast Guard; and more.