How Did Ebola Impact Maternal and Child Health in Liberia and Sierra Leone?

The current Ebola epidemic, which originated in Guinea in December 2013 and subsequently swept through Liberia and Sierra Leone, is the largest outbreak of the virus in history. Our understanding of how Ebola impacted maternal and child health in Liberia and Sierra Leone is constrained by limited data. Even so, there is a widely held belief that the toll on maternal and child health was substantial and that the indirect effects of the outbreak will be far greater than the direct consequences of Ebola. Using the available data, this report highlights the importance of accounting for preexisting weaknesses in the health systems, seasonal weather patterns, and the considerable variation in the number of Ebola cases at the subnational level in explaining what actually happened in the health sector during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia and Sierra Leone.


Cathryn Streifel