Ideological positions and poor understandings have created a set of assumptions about development that are fundamentally challenged by the Ebola experience. Can this terrible crisis provide a moment for reframing development? Surely now is the time for a fundamental rethink of development approaches.
"It's now time for there to be an official place to say if you have this problem, you can come here," says Thorpe. "We will be able to challenge the powers that be, no matter who you are, be you a lecturer, be you a president, we'll be able to take you to task. Once we begin to name and shame people, that would be an achievement."
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.
The international media is right to focus attention on this outbreak as it now may be developing an international dimension. Attempts to contain Ebola's spread are exacerbated by our interconnected world of porous borders and international air travel. In the face of this challenge, there are two factors that will help us defeat Ebola. The first is the virus's own unique characteristics; the second is the power of information.