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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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Finding an Answer to Ebola’s Greatest Challenge

Finding an Answer to Ebola’s Greatest Challenge

(p.187) 8 Finding an Answer to Ebola’s Greatest Challenge
The Politics of Fear

Armand Sprecher

Oxford University Press

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières (MSF)’s prior engagements with the Ebola epidemic elsewhere in West Africa prevented it from mounting a robust response to the outbreak in Monrovia, Liberia, in July and August 2014. Unfortunately, this would be the time and place where the West African outbreak would undergo its most dramatic explosive growth. Faced with great suffering and mounting need for care, the MSF team in Monrovia decided to open an Ebola treatment unit, ELWA 3, despite their being woefully understaffed. This forced the team to make difficult compromises in the care it provided. These tradeoffs became the source of much controversy and debates over medical ethics and healthcare rationing, both within MSF and in the public sphere.

Keywords:   Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Ebola, West Africa, Liberia, epidemic, medical ethics, healthcare rationing

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