After The Worst In Liberia And Sierra Leone
February 10, 2015
From January 19-27, my colleague Cathryn Streifel and I traveled to Liberia and Sierra Leone to engage with national leaders, health workers, non-governmental organization implementers, international organizations, and United States, United Kingdom, and other officials. It was a moment of hope and nervous adjustment, as Ebola cases dropped suddenly and unexpectedly in Liberia, followed by reductions in Sierra Leone and Guinea. We listened to the reflections of those who lived through and led the mobilization to roll back the unprecedented Ebola emergency, as it raged in the second half of 2014. We sought to understand the latest phase, as complicated efforts have begun to move beyond an emergency response and seek to achieve “zero” Ebola infections in 2015 — while safeguarding against new outbreaks. We discussed briefly early plans for long-term recovery. Across these different phases and concerns, we had a special interest in examining the US contribution. In this post, we share some of the major impressions we carried home.