The Political Economy of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD); Taking Individual and Community Ownership in the Prevention and Control of EVD

Healthcare (Basel). 2015 Jan 28;3(1):36-49. doi: 10.3390/healthcare3010036.


The outbreak of an emerging infectious disease of zoonotic origin has exposed the weaknesses in the health systems of the nations affected. The purpose of this paper was to explore the political economy of the existing outcome of the management strategies. In addition, it proposed a new strategy in the management of the current Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak. This paper admits that the current management strategy which is a top to bottom approach has not worked in reducing the spread of the disease. Instead of waiting for the disease before treatment is commenced, this paper suggests aggressively preventing infection from the EVD. It presents a bottom to top approach where there is individual ownership and community ownership in the prevention and control of the EVD outbreak. In addition, the paper presents the socio-economic situation of the three most affected countries including the ecology and stigmatization of EVD. It highlights the need for cross border surveillance across the West African nations to prevent importation of the disease as occurred in Nigeria and Senegal. It points out the need for aggressive international cooperation, an aggressive prevention and a sustainable control strategy.

Keywords: Ebola; Ebola virus disease; Nigeria; West Africa; community; outbreak; ownership; political economy; socio-economic; stigmatization.

Publication types

  • Review