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Understanding the Health Disaster: Research Design for the Response to the 2014 West African Ebola Outbreak

Abstract : The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest ever in history, affecting multiple countries and to this date, the World Health Organization has registered more than 6,500 deaths attributed to Ebola. The challenges arising from this outbreak to responders worldwide do not follow the standard characterisation or response patterns of natural sudden onset vs. conflict disasters. Rather, it is a medical emergency, which is intertwined with multiple challenges in the sectors decision-making, coordination, logistics and information management. In this paper, we present our research framework, which is based on desk research and initial interviews with responders. This framework guides on-going field research in Ghana (December2014), and Liberia (Spring 2015).
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Tina Comes, Bartel Walle, Laura Laguna Salvado, Matthieu Lauras. Understanding the Health Disaster: Research Design for the Response to the 2014 West African Ebola Outbreak. HUMTECH 2015 - Humanitarian Technology: Science, Systems and Global Impact, May 2015, Boston, United States. p. 81-89, ⟨10.1016/j.proeng.2015.06.061⟩. ⟨hal-01609213⟩

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