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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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How Did Médecins Sans Frontières Negotiate Clinical Trials of Unproven Treatments During the 2014–2015 Ebola Epidemic?

How Did Médecins Sans Frontières Negotiate Clinical Trials of Unproven Treatments During the 2014–2015 Ebola Epidemic?

Chapter:
(p.133) 6 How Did Médecins Sans Frontières Negotiate Clinical Trials of Unproven Treatments During the 2014–2015 Ebola Epidemic?
Source:
The Politics of Fear
Author(s):

Annette Rid

Annick Antierens

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624477.003.0008

In 2014, the world began to witness an unprecedented Ebola epidemic in West Africa that is now smoldering. Ebola had a fatality rate of 40% to 60% in this epidemic due to a lack of adequate health infrastructure and overwhelmed aid organizations at the height of the outbreak. These grim prospects quickly prompted proposals to use experimental treatments and vaccines for Ebola that were in the earliest phases of development at the time. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) played a key role in the rapid launch of clinical trials of the available experimental interventions. This chapter traces how MSF negotiated the trials under challenging circumstances, focusing on trials of experimental treatments. It provides a detailed account of the difficult tradeoffs MSF faced and shows how the organization’s values and beliefs shaped key decisions about research priority setting and clinical trial design.

Keywords:   Doctors Without Borders/Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Ebola, epidemic, West Africa, experimental treatments, clinical trials

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