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Government, Public Health Officials Work To Gain Public Trust Amid West African Ebola Outbreak

News outlets explore the issues of leadership and public trust as governments attempt to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Devex: Amid the fog of Ebola, can civil society leaders help keep the peace?
“…The international community is bent on stopping the spread of the [Ebola] virus and bringing the crisis to a peaceful, well-ordered resolution soon. But recently, this public health disaster has shown itself also to have roots in the mistrust between citizens and their government and in the misinformation that can accompany imposed public health decisions and actions…” (Igoe, 8/26).

Foreign Policy: How Not to End a Plague
“…Consent for a quarantine [in West Point, Liberia,] was neither won nor sought from residents, including community leaders; health organizations working to help the government fight Ebola did not endorse it either. … There was, in short, a glaring lack of knowledge and communication surrounding the quarantine — as there has been throughout the crisis of health and governance that is the Ebola outbreak in Liberia…” (MacDougall, 8/26).

Inter Press Service: Building Public Trust is a Key Factor in Fighting West Africa’s Worst Ebola Outbreak
“…In Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, government services and trained medical workers are barely available in regions infected by Ebola. So when heavily equipped medical teams, often backed by foreign experts, go to affected areas, it has been difficult for those local communities to instantly trust them…” (Boisvert, 8/26).

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