Analyzing the Economic Consequences of an Epidemic Outbreak: Experience from the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

Mohamed Jalloh


The Ebola virus disease has been infection countries in Africa since its first emergence in Zaire in 1976. However, the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been unanimously described as the World’s most devastating outbreak in history and the first ever witnessed in West Africa. The devastating nature of the 2014 Ebola epidemic made the international community becoming increasing worried as the disease continued to spread across borders. This stud therefore, aimed at evaluating the economic impact of the epidemic in West African countries affected by the outbreak. The study adopted an innovative methodology that scientifically captures the contemporaneous impact of the outbreak on key socioeconomic variables of interest. The results from the study revealed that in addition to the adverse impact of the Ebola outbreak on economic growth, commodity prices and government budget deficits, the isolation of countries hardest hit by the epidemic contributed significantly in worsening the socioeconomic conditions faced by these countries. By way of policy recommendations, the study noted the need to strengthen health care systems in the region, training of more health care workers, and avoidance of actions restriction the movement of persons and goods from epidemic affected areas and the need for regional coordination efforts for the effective combating of epidemic outbreaks in the future.

Keywords:  Ebola, epidemic, outbreak, devastating, West African, health care, growth

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3186 ISSN (Online)2225-0921

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