Ebola West Africa 2013-2016

The most widespread epidemic of Ebola virus disease in history began in 2013 and continued for over two years, resulting in significant loss of life and social disruption across the region of West Africa. As of 2016, although the epidemic is no longer out of control, flare-ups of the disease are likely to continue for some time.


The following 3 minute animation provides a historical overview of the Ebola outbreak and an introduction to MSF’s response to the crisis:


Key financial data on MSF’s response to the Ebola epidemic for the period March 2014 and December 2015 can be found by clicking the link. 


OCB Ebola Review (2016) public 

MSF OCB commissioned an extensive multi-sectoral critical review of its Ebola intervention. Here it is possible to access all 7 sub-reviews (medico-operational issues, human resources, water and sanitation, supply, logistics, advocacy and governance) as well as the summary report, where the priority recommendations are listed.  

On 12th May 2016, OCB held a webinar to discuss the key findings from this review. The video can be viewed here


OCB Ebola Review: Ebola Treatment Centres (2016) public 

This review was commissioned by OCA and was conducted as part of the OCB Ebola review. During the Ebola outbreak, MSF built 13 Ebola Treatment Centres (ETCs) across the three affected countries. This evaluation reviewed the design and construction of the ETCs, which it found had a direct influence on the project’s impact. The review is split into 2 documents: the main evaluation in the first and lessons learned and specific recommendations for construction in the second.


Evaluation of the OCG Response to the Ebola Outbreak, April 2016: Lessons learned from the Freetown Ebola Treatment Unit, Sierra Leone (2016) public 

The objective of this review was to assess OCG’s response to Ebola focusing on the Freetown Prince of Wales Ebola Treatment Centre, Sierra Leone (open Dec 2014 to end of Feb 2015) and to reflect on the ability to incorporate “real time lessons learned” during the ongoing management of the outbreak. The evaluation focused on infrastructure management, medical & nursing care management, epidemiological control measures, community engagement & mobilisation, capacity building, relationship with other actors and research.


Ebola Governance Review (2016) internal 

This review was commissioned by the International Board of MSF to reflect on the lessons learned for Movement governance during the Ebola crisis. It focuses on the first six months of the Ebola outbreak (from April to September 2014). The findings are based on analysis of relevant records, minutes of platform meetings, and interviews with a cross-section of the key people involved in Movement governance during this period.


Ebola Workshop in Dakar (2015) internal 

The Ebola Workshop held in Dakar in June 2015 brought together field staff and senior MSF HQ staff for three main purposes: 1) to identify the key challenges, achievements, questions and knowledge gap, 2) to define what was needed to meet these challenges in the ongoing response, and 3) to prepare for future outbreaks through improved knowledge, medical/operational strategies, guidelines, tools, decision-making mechanisms and operational research.


Internal Reflection Report: MSF OCA Ebola Intervention in Sierra Leone (2015) internal 

This internal reflection report for OCAs Ebola intervention in Sierra Leone focuses on the OCA response and lessons learned. The report covers discussions around operational decision making, HQ setup and field support, biosafety, clinical care in Ebola Management Centres and duty of care towards our international staff.


Snapshot OCBA: Lessons learned of MSFs West Africa Ebola Response 2014 (2015) internal 

This poster outlines the main lessons identified by OCBA. Besides very practical points of Ebola response it also stresses the importance of leadership and supportive platforms. The document includes a list of new approaches to be developed and evaluated, e.g. care for vulnerable groups and decentralization of care. 

The lessons learned from a logistic perspective are documented in a separate report.


All Against Ebola – Closure report OCBA in Nigeria (2015) internal 

When a few Ebola cases occurred in Nigeria in July 2014, OCBA provided support to the Ministry of Health. As most patients were highly educated and regular users of Internet, OCBA developed the All Against Ebola application, to promote public health. This document reviews the performance of the project. 



Previous VHF/ Ebola outbreaks:

Response to Ebola, Bundibugyo, Uganda: Lessons learned from the MSF intervention (2008) internal 

MSF’s intervention in Uganda in 2007-8 was regarded as successful. This report was designed to capture the lessons learned from the response. The report summarises the main points relating to intersection co-ordination, co-ordination with other/external actors, Human Resource Management, expatriate health and project set up.


The MSF Intervention in the Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever Epidemic, Uige, Angola, 2005. I. Lessons Learned in the Hospital (2007) public 

The epidemic in Uige in 2005 was the largest Marburg hemorrhagic fever (MHF) outbreak ever recorded. In part 1 of the evaluation, this article describes the respo

nse of MSF Spain within the provincial hospital in Uige, as well as the lessons they learned during the epidemic, particularly in the areas of diagnosis, management of patients, and infection control in the hospital. 

The MSF Intervention in the Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever Epidemic, Uige, Angola, 2005. II. Lessons Learned in the Community (2007) public 

Part 2 of the evaluation focuses on the lessons learned from the response among the community, in particular community epidemiological surveillance, clinical assessment and isolation of patients with MHF, safe burials and disinfection, home-based risk reduction, peripheral health facility support, psychosocial support, and information and education campaigns. 


Ebola outbreak in Gabon: a lesson in modesty (2001/2) (2002) public 

This brief article provides a historical overview of MSF’s intervention in Gabon in 2001. Lack of political and anthropological awareness of the area of intervention led to MSF teams and other organisations ultimately being expelled.



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