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The Politics of FearMédecins sans Frontières and the West African Ebola Epidemic$
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Michiel Hofman and Sokhieng Au

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624477.001.0001

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Challenges of Instituting Effective Medevac Policies

Challenges of Instituting Effective Medevac Policies

Chapter:
(p.235) 10 Challenges of Instituting Effective Medevac Policies
Source:
The Politics of Fear
Author(s):

Duncan McLean

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624477.003.0013

This chapter reviews the medical evacuation policies of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) and how they were adapted to the West African Ebola epidemic. Medical evacuations for international staff were just one of the challenges facing aid agencies, but it was a challenge that weighed heavily on the response. Unable to guarantee the evacuation of sick staff members, recruitment difficulties for an already unprecedented epidemic response could only worsen. International medical evacuations are expensive regardless of the circumstances. In the context of Ebola, further complications included the availability of pilots and crews prepared to transport potential cases, along with ensuring appropriate hospital care on arrival. However, the most significant obstacle to a shared air service of pooled resources was not cash or technical difficulties but the lack of political, which became indicative of a broader fear that further isolated the stricken countries.

Keywords:   Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Ebola, West Africa, epidemic, medical evacuation, aid agencies, political will, fear

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