Womens access to non ebola related services has been

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Women’s access to non-Ebola-related services has been constrained. For instance, in Sierra Leone, the number of women giving birth in hospitals and health clinics has dropped by 30 percent. In addition to being physically affected by the epidemic, women have suffered reversals in economic activities and empowerment, due to EVD control measures that restrict the movement of people and goods. Women in the three countries are disproportionately clustered in the least productive sectors, with 90 percent employed in the informal services and agricultural sectors. The EVD has increased their vulnerability to the SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE IN WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES
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iv loss of livelihoods and incomes. The financial capital of women’s savings and loans groups in these countries, especially in Liberia and Guinea, has also been reduced. The pandemic has threatened the social fabric that glues society together. The pandemic and the associated hardships have changed people’s consumption habits; many have had to eat less than before the EVD outbreak. There is evidence that the EVD is eroding the age-long communal behaviours of the people including attendance at ceremonies, adjustment in burial rights and less caregiving to family and community members. Feelings of distrust between communities and between the people and their governments are still strong. The health system had been weakened in terms of access to health services including non-Ebola-related services such as family planning, pre- and post-natal services, antiretroviral therapies and treatment of endemic diseases in the region such as malaria and cholera. Most people in the epicentre countries expressed a fear for the future of their family, community and for the whole country. The recovery and future preventive measures must take cognizance of people’s feelings and expectations. Building an enviable social contract between citizens and their governments should be a priority in the recovery interventions. An effective management of the recovery process will help build people’s trust and confidence and also boost their expectations for the future. EVD is pushing people into poverty and making them more vulnerable. With the brilliant economic outlook of the past few years, and given the growth elasticity of poverty for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the incidence of poverty should be 49.78 percent in Guinea, against 31.20 percent in Sierra Leone and 63.47 percent in Liberia in 2016. However, EVD seems to have reversed this trend. Compared to baseline, incidence of poverty is expected to worsen. For Guinea, the rise in poverty could range from 2.25 percent in 2014 to 7.9 percent in 2015; between 13.8 percent and 14.1 percent for Sierra Leone; and between 5.5 percent and 17.6 percent during 2014-2015.
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  • Fall '19
  • West Africa

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