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Ebola and Development: The reality of causes and consequences of Ebola in West Africa.

Engineers Without Borders - Denmark in cooperation with Architects Without Borders, IDA-Global Development and the Environmental Foundation for Africa have arranged a series of presentations and seek to provide a platform for further discussion regarding the various factors that have contributed to the wide spread of Ebola in West Africa, and the flow on effects the disease will have in the area's development activities in the future.

We hope that as many of you as possible will join us in learning more about this crisis, how it shapes the realities of those impacted and what this means for our development work going forward.

Time: Wednesday 27th of May 17.00 - 21.00 (deadline for registration 22.05.2015)

Place: IDA's Ingeniørhuset, Kalvebod Brygge 31-33, 1780 København V


Cost: 50 DKK (including refreshments)
Transfer the amount incl. "EBOLA plus your name" to Danske Bank Reg. nr.: 3543 Konto nr.: 3543626236

The event will be held in English


For more than a year, the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has attracted international media, donor and relief organizations’ attention. The primary focus has been on containment and treatment. This is somehow understandable as the disease is highly infectious and fatal. About half of those infected will develop disease and die shortly after being infected. It is estimated that more than 10,000 have died until now in what is considered an unprecedented outbreak in terms of magnitude, duration and spatial spread. However, now that the epidemic appears to level off, it might be time to ask some questions, including:

Why did it attract such international attention, when the number of death after all is relatively small compared, e.g., to the about 6,500 children dying every day from vaccine preventable diseases?

Why now and why there? What is the ‘natural’ evolution of an epidemic? What are the possible social, economic, ecological and environmental drivers underlying the Ebola epidemic experienced in West Africa?

Given these factors, what are the lessons learned from the outbreak and how might future threats from Ebola across the complex urban and rural landscapes that now define modern Africa be managed?

A meeting on the 27th of May will seek to throw light on and answer these questions.


17:00 - 17:05 Welcome and opening of meeting

17:05 - 18:00 Snapshots from the field

  • Stine Skøtt Thomsen, IBIS – “How Ebola affects education” – will give a presentation on the effects of Ebola on school attendance in Liberia with a point of departure in IBIS’ educational programs.
  • Bauke van Weringh, Engineers Without Borders – “How Ebola affects EWB projects” - a presentation on how Ebola has shaped development efforts in Sierra Leone.
  • Patrick Kogler, Architects Without Borders – “The Environmental Learning Centre” – a presentation on how a project designed and built to raise awareness about sustainable building and landscaping, problems with deforestation, sand mining, gold mining, and clean water, became non-functional due to the Ebola crisis.
  • Questions and answers

18:00 - 18:45 Prof. Morten Sodemann, Odense University Hospital – “Epidemiology and social determinants of Ebola”. Prof. Sodemann will contextualize the recent Ebola outbreak within the overall public health picture in Africa, the international health regulations, and the social determinants of the disease. Q&A

18:45 - 19:15 Sandwiches and Networking

19:15-20:00 Tommy Garnett, The Environmental Foundation for Africa – “Why does the Ebola crisis in West Africa present a need for improved natural resource protection across Africa”? Mr Garnet will present the emerging evidence that one of the underlying causes of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is altered land use and that as many as 22 million people in West and Central Africa could be at risk from future outbreaks. Q&A

20:00 - 20:15 Buzz groups generating proposals for how to manage future threats of Ebola from a developmental perspective

20:15 - 20:55 Discussions with and reflections by the panel (Thomsen, van Weringh, Kogler, Sodemann and Garnett) on the proposals from the buzz groups

20:55 - 21:00 Close of meeting


Further readings and videos on the topic

To store donationer sætter fokus på sundhed i Sierra Leone

Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone 2014 - Views and perspectives from Mohamed Selman Khalil, Program Director, EWB-SL and our partner in Sierra Leone, Engineers without Borders Sierra Leone (EWB-SL)

Ebola - en dræber i udviklingsarbejdet - videooptagelser fra temaaftenarrangementet i 2014

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