l. British Medical Journal 3 February has published on-line an article by Grepin from NYU Department of Global Health Policy re: paid contributions for EBOV relief in West Africa. The author found that only 30% of promised pledges have reached Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea as paid contributions. The U.S. and the U.K. have paid > 95% of promised money; World Bank and Paul Allen have paid 51% and 55% of their pledges respectively, Grepin found it took 6 months after the WHO alert for paid contributions to reach West African countries. When the authors looked at money donated lper EBOV case by country, $110,000 was available per EBOV case in Liberia, but only $49,000 available per EBOV case in Sierra Leone. Perhaps these figures explain in part the the stopping of EBOV in Liberia, as well as the continuing challenge to stop EBOV in Sierra Leone. See Figure 1, Figure 2, and Matching Donations To Need at: http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h376
2. Foreign Policy Magazine Jan/Feb, 2015 has two articles on EBOV. A ‘decoder’ article by Scobey-Thal on page 24-25 likens the EBOV epidemic in West Africa to the outbreak of plague (Yersinia pestis) on the other side of Africa on Madagascar. The article reminds us that as far back as 1346 the Mongols used plague-infected animals as biological warfare. The Jan/Feb issue has just reached the bookshops so that I cannot give a URL for this article or the article below.
3. Foreign Policy Magazine also has an article by Debora Spar, President at Barnard College, re: whether foreign investors in West Africa are heroes or villains. Firestone and other multinational companies have taken actions to keep their workers safe from EBOV, but also have sent workers into the rainforests and ‘profit-shifted’ capital to other companies in low tax rate countries. The author suggests that democratic countries in Central Africa have done better than more authoritarian countries in West Africa in controlling and stopping EBOV. I think the form of government is less important than amount of rainforest in West and Central Africa and previous experience with EBOV in Central Africa in accounting for the differences in results. The article is on page 68-69.