Table 3 shows the poor state of the health systems in

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Sierra Leone and very similar in Guinea. Table 3 shows the poor state of the health systems in these countries with respect to inputs and outcomes in terms of number of physicians per 1,000 people, hospital beds, mortality rates, risk of maternal deaths, access to water, etc. Table 4 also shows that most countries in the region are not better-off than the three epicentre countries. For instance, only Cape Verde and Nigeria have a greater number of physicians per 1,000 population. Most other countries are in the same health sector conditions as those in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They are not prepared for any serious public health crisis such as the EVD outbreak. Table 2: Impact of health system deficiencies on Ebola outbreak containment Governance Financing Human Resources Commodities Service Delivery Information Description Policies, strategies, and plans that inform the course of action that a country will take to meet the health needs of its people. Mechanisms used to fund health efforts and allocate resources. The people who provide health care and support health delivery. Goods that are used to provide healthcare. The management and delivery of healthcare. The collection, analysis, and dissemination of health statistics for planning and allocating health resources. Impact of Health System Component Deficiency in Ebola Context Slow initial government response to the Ebola outbreak and incapacity to implement national Ebola plans has diminished public confidence in political authorities and limited efforts to dispel rumors and fears about Ebola. Insufficient financial resources to fund local responses and pay health personnel contribute to human resource and commodity shortages. Shortages of not only health personnel, but also support staff such as grave diggers and statisticians limit the ability to detect, prevent, and treat EVD cases. Insufficient supply of protective equipment threatens the safety of healthcare workers (including community volunteers) and is associated with hospital- and clinic-based infections. Many health facilities in Liberia and Sierra Leone remain closed due to staff shortages and other factors. Limited capacity to conduct contact tracing and diagnosis calls into question the actual EVD cases and impedes efforts to detect, treat, and control the virus. Source: Salaam-Blyther (2014). SOCIO-ECONOMIC IMPACT OF EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE IN WEST AFRICAN COUNTRIES
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18 Among the greatest impediments to controlling the disease were the real disadvantages that underpin the countries’ development contexts – a combination of fear, distrust and ignorance. Fear of being quarantined or being infected at health centres has discouraged both testing and treatment. Widespread stigmatization of persons who are infected with, or have survived, the disease has also limited willingness to be tested and treated. Relatives have been unwilling to bring bodies for safe disposal because standard protection against the spread of the infection involves the burning of bedding, mattresses and clothes of the person infected. Communities have
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  • Fall '19
  • West Africa

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