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The Politics of Fear – Médecins sans Frontières and the West African Ebola Epidemic - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Politics of Fear: Médecins sans Frontières and the West African Ebola Epidemic

Michiel Hofman and Sokhieng Au


Although Ebola and similar hemorrhagic fevers have occurred in the past, both the numbers and geographic spread of the 2014-15 West African Ebola epidemic were unprecedented. Ebola and the associated risks drove an improvised, sometimes ineffective, response from political and medical authorities. Fear, rather than rational planning, drove many decisions made at population and leadership levels. Institutions, practices, economies, and governments were all deeply affected by the demands engendered by this emergency. Ultimately, the epidemic revealed serious fault lines at all levels in the theo ... More

Keywords: Doctors Without Borders, Médecins sans Frontières, Ebola, West Africa, fear, global public health

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190624477
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624477.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michiel Hofman, editor
Senior Humanitarian Specialist, Médecins sans Frontières

Sokhieng Au, editor
Program Staff, Advocacy and Analysis Unit, Médecins sans Frontières

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