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Learning Briefs | November 11, 2021

Standing Shoulder to Shoulder

Making a Difference in the West Africa Ebola Epidemic

The West Africa Ebola epidemic of 2014-2016 put into stark relief the global consequences of failing to sufficiently address the destructive effect of years of conflict and civil war in the three most profoundly affected countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. In fact, it was the glaring weaknesses in health systems in these countries that allowed the disease to become a full-blown epidemic.

CRS, through its longstanding partner relationships, was uniquely positioned to respond in several specific, tailored ways to this urgent, complex situation. This document provides a glimpse into eight CRS interventions across the region that contributed to conquering the outbreak. It articulates how CRS reinforced future health system resilience while addressing immediate needs, even during a complex emergency. Bringing hope and solidarity alongside technical expertise and resources contributed not only to ending the Ebola epidemic but to the ongoing transformation of health systems in all three countries.