Health professional dropped from 52 to 38 percent and

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health professional dropped from 52 to 38 percent, and the number of women giving birth in hospitals and health clinics dropped by 30 percent in Sierra Leone, in addition to other impacts on women. Some important lessons learned can be drawn from the EVD experience in West Africa and should be factored into its containment, recovery and preventive measures. First, addressing public health crisis requires trained specialists with a clear understanding of the associated protocols. Second, culture matters SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE IN WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES
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70 in addressing emergencies tackling risky traditional behaviours calls for better appreciation of the context among the traditional and religious leaders, and the community. Third, health is as important as the economy – without a healthy population, promoting a rapid and sustained economic growth is difficult. Fourth, addressing an epidemic like EVD underscores the important of trust between the people and their government. Fifth, leadership matters – political and community leaders must take the lead as champions in dealing with the crisis. Sixth, since Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are heavily affected by the EVD, the economic and socio-economic impacts on unaffected countries are potentially high. And finally, the impact of stigmatization and risk aversion behaviours could be pronounced on the national and regional economy. Most West African countries are vulnerable to Ebola outbreak. The health systems and development outcomes of most of the countries in the region are similar to those in the three epicentre countries. They are therefore not immune from EVD outbreak and thus urgent that they strengthen their health systems, institutionalize preventive measures, and invest heavily in disaster risk reduction and management system. This calls for commitment to the implementation of Abuja Declaration – increasing budgetary allocation to the health sector. The toll on economic activity is huge. One year after the first Ebola case was detected in Guinea, the disease still remained uncontained and continues to decimate the populations of Guinea and Sierra Leone as of 11 February 2015. The economic situation in these countries is rapidly deteriorating, and the trend is expected to continue until the disease is finally contained and recovery plan rapidly scaled up. Even containing the disease in the epicentre countries does not render other West African countries immune from the socio-economic impact; they have started to feel the impact. Even under the low Ebola scenario, the estimated loss in GDP for the 15 countries in the region is US$1.8 billion in 2014, which is expected to rise to US$3.4 billion in 2015 and US$4.7 billion in 2017. The EVD will reduce GDP growth by 0.8 percentage points on average between 2015 and 2017. A loss in around 1.2 percent of the region’s GDP on average poses a serious challenge. The region’s per capita income is expected to fall by US$18.00 per year during the period. Both in terms of GDP and per capita
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  • Fall '19
  • West Africa

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