Strict public spending cuts imposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone may have contributed to the rapid spread of Ebola in these countries, according to Cambridge University researchers.
“A major reason why the Ebola outbreak spread so rapidly was the weakness of healthcare systems in the region,” said Cambridge sociologist Alexander Kentikelenis, lead author of the study that appeared in the latest issue of medical journal The Lancet.
“Policies advocated by the IMF have contributed to underfunded, insufficiently staffed and poorly prepared health systems in the countries with Ebola outbreaks,” added Kentikelenis.
The first cases of the deadly virus were discovered in Guinea earlier this year, but quickly spread to neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone. The three countries have been the worst affected by the epidemic, both in terms of lives lost and the damages to their already…
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