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Ebola: a humanitarian crisis and development wake-up call?

Time (GMT +01) 10:00 12:00
​Chair: Wendy Fenton, Humanitarian Practice Network Coordinator


H.E. Mr. Edward M. Turay, High Commissioner of Sierra Leone

Lisa Denney, Research Associate, ODI

Marc DuBois, former Executive Director of MSF-UK and independent researcher

Theodora Hamilton, Treasurer, 50/50 Group of Sierra Leone


Mohammad Jalloh, CEO, Focus1000, Sierra Leone 

Ade Daramy, Chair and Spokesperson for the UK Sierra Leone Ebola Task Force


The West African Ebola crisis has claimed over 10,000 lives and exposed deep fractures in the health systems of the three hardest hit countries – Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. National health systems have struggled under the weight of the crisis. International agencies were not only slow to arrive but also took too long to involve communities in the response. 

Furthermore, challenges encountered during the humanitarian response, such as community resistance to the authorities’ social mobilisation campaigns, reflect a deep level of citizen mistrust. Populations are suspicious not only of health systems but also of their governments. 

Ebola is forcing the international community and affected governments to rethink how health systems can best be supported to withstand such crises, as well as strengthened in the long-term. But how do vulnerable health systems become resilient ones? And how can aid agencies better build trust with affected communities, so as to prevent transmissions during future outbreaks and stop major epidemics happening in the first place?

Co-hosted by the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) and the Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN), this public event will reflect on the Ebola crisis from both humanitarian and development perspectives. 

Due to unforeseen events, Sierra Leone's Deputy Minister of Health and Sanitation, Foday Sawi, is no longer able to speak at the event.