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The Human Rights Dimension of West Africa's Ebola Outbreak

by John Kabia

Nov 1, 2014

While media headlines are focused on the international response, locally-rooted groups, including Fund grantees, are emerging as key actors in the fight against this outbreak. These organizations are using their credibility, local knowledge, and extensive networks of volunteers to partner with health officials to raise awareness of the virus and educate communities on modes of transmission and prevention. Local groups are also fighting stigmatization and helping to reintegrate survivors into their communities, monitoring the state's use of emergency powers and resources, and ensuring that quarantined communities and vulnerable populations receive adequate support. Activists and volunteers from the affected countries hold the greatest promise in breaking the transmission link and preventing future outbreaks. This crisis should therefore be an opportunity for governments in the region to build trust and stronger connections with citizens and grassroots groups who are often at the frontlines of responding to community challenges and articulating their needs.
The Human Rights Dimension of West Africa's Ebola Outbreak