Oxfam is in Liberia and Sierra Leone for the long haul. We're continuing to work with communities to build understanding of Ebola treatment and how to stay healthy, providing financial support to help families get back on their feet, and helping them guard against infectious diseases by equipping schools and clinics with clean water and sanitation.
Kate Gross, my friend and our founding CEO in AGI, died on Christmas day after a two year battle with cancer. Our last conversation was some weeks before, sitting in the November sun in Cambridge. She knew the chemo was coming to an end and we both knew what came next. But that wasn't what we talked about.
Mrs Mugabe's is the quintessential example of how female leadership does not guarantee a more transparent government. If women leaders are to have positive effect on the continent, it is necessary to break away from the deeply ingrained authoritarianism and culture of corruption that characterizes many governments in the region.
The affected West African States won't recover quickly after this epidemic ends, even if that end is currently incalculable. This region will need assistance from the international community more than ever. Liberia's economy is in ruins, the already fragile health system has collapsed, and social networks have been divided by both death and stigma. Ebola has also caused psychological trauma among the living. This will take time - and there will be a lot to do.
Ebola is a highly-infectious, extremely painful disease with a high death rate. But you probably won't get it. If you look at the man or woman sat nex...
Besides all the drama currently taking place in West Africa, miracles sporadically happen right before our eyes. Just like this Ebola epidemic will write history, since last week our Ebola case management centre in Foya will probably also appear in history books. We are glad to announce that so far in Foya we discharged both the youngest, and the oldest recovered Ebola patient.
As I was leaving Sierra Leone, the president declared a public health emergency. He'd finally acknowledged that his country was in crisis. Now we're six months into the outbreak and the CDC are predicting as many as 500,000 Ebola cases by the end of January. What was very much an avoidable epidemic may now become endemic in a part of the world already crippled by poverty.
The spectacular GDP growth recorded by some West African countries in the past 5 years is all of a sudden undermined by the spread of the Ebola virus. The epidemic has put under the spotlight the poor conditions of health systems in the region, but also the fragility of economic models measured only by Gross Domestic Product.
Public health emergencies often occur in the place least likely to be able to manage them, and western Africa was poorly prepared for the latest outbreak of Ebola. However, as much as an overwhelmed world might fervently hope that it will remain an African problem, its impact will be felt far beyond the borders of Liberia and its neighbours. Ebola outranks everything else on a crowded global agenda today, and the quicker we acknowledge this, the more effectively it can be contained.