The Links Between Public and Ecosystem Health in Light of the Recent Ebola Outbreaks and Pandemic Emergence

EcoHealth Journal

First online: 11 May 2016

Article: The Links Between Public and Ecosystem Health in Light of the Recent Ebola Outbreaks and Pandemic Emergence (DOI 10.1007/s10393-016-1123-y)

By David Nabarro and Chadia Wannous

 

Introduction

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is an unprecedented public health emergency of international concern. It is the largest and most complex Ebola outbreak on record, having resulted in over 28,000 cases, and an estimated case fatality proportion of 40%. The Ebola outbreak took a significant economic and social toll on West African Nations beyond human death and illness. It has devastated families and communities, compromised essential services including health and education, weakened economies and isolated affected populations. The outbreak shows that we are still not ready to deal with infectious disease emergencies. It also demonstrates the importance of preparedness and building resilient health systems through the integration of disaster risk management into health care provision at all levels. Ebola exploits fragile and overstretched health systems with limited public health capabilities. Therefore, we must prioritize strengthening the health institutions, develop their infrastructure, and support the training of the health workforce.

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