WWS Blog

Alumni Dispatch: Ebola Intervention in West Africa

Jun 30, 2015
Published by:
Public Affairs

To expand on this perspective, the Princeton-Fung Global Forum will convene Nov. 2–3 in Dublin, Ireland, to examine global health, using the Ebola outbreak as a case study of a modern plague. The third annual forum will include academic scholars, researchers, health and medical professionals, aid workers, policymakers and journalists. Using a multidisciplinary approach, panelists will examine economic, environmental, political and historical issues in addition to those of health and medicine to draw lessons from the current outbreak and devise methods to prevent modern plagues going forward. 

Several panelists are Princeton and Wilson School alumni who have been directly involved with global health efforts and battling the recent Ebola outbreak. Many of them are on the ground in West Africa.

Douglas Mercado, who received his master’s degree in public policy in 2007, is the team leader for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which is spearheading the U.S. response to the crisis. Stationed in Liberia, Mercado oversees the West African region. While resolving the crisis at hand, DART has also clinically trained approximately 1,500 Liberians in an effort to make an enduring improvement to the country’s healthcare system. The group hopes to put into place mechanisms so that the country can better manage future crises.

- See more at: http://wws.princeton.edu/news-and-events/news/item/alumni-join-ebola-int...

To expand on this perspective, the Princeton-Fung Global Forum will convene Nov. 2–3 in Dublin, Ireland, to examine global health, using the Ebola outbreak as a case study of a modern plague. The third annual forum will include academic scholars, researchers, health and medical professionals, aid workers, policymakers and journalists. Using a multidisciplinary approach, panelists will examine economic, environmental, political and historical issues in addition to those of health and medicine to draw lessons from the current outbreak and devise methods to prevent modern plagues going forward. 

Several panelists are Princeton and Wilson School alumni who have been directly involved with global health efforts and battling the recent Ebola outbreak. Many of them are on the ground in West Africa.

Douglas Mercado, who received his master’s degree in public policy in 2007, is the team leader for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which is spearheading the U.S. response to the crisis. Stationed in Liberia, Mercado oversees the West African region. While resolving the crisis at hand, DART has also clinically trained approximately 1,500 Liberians in an effort to make an enduring improvement to the country’s healthcare system. The group hopes to put into place mechanisms so that the country can better manage future crises.

- See more at: http://wws.princeton.edu/news-and-events/news/item/alumni-join-ebola-int...

Several Princeton and Wilson School alumni have been directly involved with global health efforts and battling the recent Ebola outbreak. Many of them were on the ground in West Africa.

Douglas Mercado, who received his master’s degree in public policy in 2007, led the team for the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which spearheaded the U.S. response to the crisis. Stationed in Liberia, Mercado oversaw the West African region. While resolving the crisis at hand, DART also clinically trained approximately 1,500 Liberians in an effort to make an enduring improvement to the country’s healthcare system. The group hopes to put into place mechanisms so that the country can better manage future crises.

A research associate with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, or Doctors without Borders in the United States), Princeton undergraduate and graduate alumna Kimberly Bonner ’08 MPA ’12 witnessed the results of relief efforts at the Ebola Treatment Center in Freetown, Sierra Leone. While not a spokesperson for the organization, Bonner worked as a communications officer for MSF at the Center from December 2014 to February 2015.

“As the outbreak recedes, we can't afford to miss the opportunity to strengthen the health systems of these Ebola-affected countries,” Bonner said. “While Ebola has directly affected thousands of families, the secondary effects on the health system and the economy have been even larger. In Sierra Leone, mortality is projected to increase by 20 percent for pregnant women and children under five. Hamstrung vaccination efforts over 18 months could lead to nearly a doubling of cases in a measles outbreak, with thousands of additional children dying.”

To read more about the Ebola crisis and alumni working in West Africa, click here. Alumni and members of the Princeton and Wilson School community will be speaking at this year's Princeton-Fung Global Forum, Nov. 2–3 in Dublin, Ireland. The focus of the conference will be global health, using the Ebola outbreak as a case study of a modern plague. It is open to the public. Register here.

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