A Focus on Community Engagement

Introduction During the 2014 West African Ebola epidemic, an estimated US$ 10 billion was spent to contain the disease in the region and globally. The response brought together multilateral agencies, bilateral partnerships, private enterprises and foundations, local governments and communities. Social mobilisation efforts were pivotal components of the response architecture ( Gillespie et al. , 2016 ; Laverack and Manoncourt, 2015 ; Oxfam International, 2015 ). They relied on grassroots community actors, classic figures of humanitarian work or development

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

extensive harm. During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, websites masquerading as news outlets published false stories about the causes and cures of the disease. In Nigeria, two people died and twenty were hospitalised after drinking excessive quantities of salt water, which they read would protect them from the disease ( Neporent, 2014 ). In the US, multiple websites published false news stories that contained alarmist accounts, one claiming that an entire town in Texas was being quarantined after a family tested positive for the virus. The

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

Most mainstream discourses on humanitarian security would not consider the community engagement of a team of anthropologists in three West African countries during the Ebola epidemic of 2014–16 as directly related to security – and their article in this special issue on ‘Security and Protection’ hardly touches on security as its own topic. Instead, it provides a detailed account of the need for a thorough understanding of social relationships when defining, and thus securing, humanitarian

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Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

looking on that the catastrophe has been contained . It is a kind of quarantine effect, whereby what frightens observers is the idea of uncontrolled, ongoing, unpredictable suffering. Humanitarians arrive to create a moment of ‘new normal’ where the flow has been stemmed, the hole plugged. The Ebola response is an example of this – the vast cost in life and suffering and the everyday life experiences of West Africans in the communities affected are all but invisible now because the breach was contained. What normal does is obscure and disguise

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found to cause microcephaly in children born to infected mothers, governments and research institutions around the world clamoured for a vaccine to stem the outbreak. 6 The same was true six months earlier, when the Ebola crisis was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. 7 As for Britain, in 2014–15, 92.3 per cent of children under the age of two years in England received their first dose of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) and 94.2 per cent completed their course of vaccines against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), polio

in Vaccinating Britain
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as the most effective means for halting the spread of communicable diseases. People now tend to demand public health immunisation, and the development of new vaccines, for example against HIV, malaria and Ebola, are eagerly awaited. But compliance is always an issue. A key premise of this collection is that a state's ability to produce, or at least distribute, large quantities of vaccine, as well as its ability to manage the necessarily

in The politics of vaccination
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The beast that no-one could – or should – control?

and publishers to provide free access to research on Ebola virus and Zika virus in response to serious public health crises have thrown a spotlight on the slow and restrictive practices that have come to dominate publishing (Curry, 2016). In announcing the moves to speed the release of Zika 42 Science and the politics of openness virus research, the statement of the consortium of funders and publishers led by the Wellcome Trust spoke of an imperative. It was not described as a moral imperative, but did seem to resemble one. The logical corollary to these

in Science and the politics of openness

NPHCDA Executive Director's plans to improve immunisation in northern Nigeria. 94 He wrote: ‘Kindly immunise us against the following killer agents: 1. Ebola Jonanthan [ sic ], 95 2. Politicians, 3. JTF [Joint Task Force – the military-police force assigned to counter Boko Haram attacks], 4. Corruption, and 5. BOKO’. Professor Tomori voiced somewhat similar sentiments (more politely) when he ‘stated that Nigerian

in The politics of vaccination
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which there exists not only situations of intentional mass killing, but also countless recent experiences of disasters, whether natural or industrial, from Hurricane Katrina and the 2011 tsunami in Japan to the Savar buil­ding collapse in Bangladesh in 2013, the recent Ebola epidemic or multiple air crashes such as the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Ukraine or the Germanwings Barcelona–​Düsseldorf crash in the French Alps, which serve to remind us of the reality and deep si­gnificance of this issue. Notes 1 Translated from the authors’ French by Jon Hensher. 2 J

in Human remains in society
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A Party of the 99% and the Power of Debt

agencies. Since debt repayment must be taken from national budgets for education, health care and poverty alleviation it is also of questionable morality. And, as the recent Ebola epidemic illustrated, the costs in devastated health systems are no longer confined to these countries. To add to this debt burden, developing countries lose about $1 trillion a year in capital flight, largely tax avoidance by multinational corporations. Third, education, health care, and childcare should be universal and free. This will be easier to accomplish in some countries than in others

in Debt as Power