2014 Ebola Epidemic outbreak control (West Africa)

When West Africa’s 2014 Ebola outbreak ended in November 2015, over 10,000 lives were claimed. At the time, this outbreak was the largest and most difficult to control of any Ebola outbreak due to geography, scale, and traditional customs in this area.

To control the outbreak, Associate Professor Lokuge recognised the need to understand the barriers to reducing disease spread. She and other epidemiologists helped identify potential implementation measures that could be applied within the community and humanitarian health agencies to minimise mortality rates. These implementation measures included community engagement programs, giving sufficient patient care (e.g. admission to specialist facilities of suspected cases), ensuring adequate staffing and resourcing for community-based care detection, contract tracing, and observing appropriate infection control and safe burial procedures. Uptake of these measures by MSF, local Ministries of Health, and other response agencies are now foundational guidelines for future Ebola outbreaks.