Thursday, 02.10.2014 | 07:45 - 08:45

Organised by International Forum Gastein

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa (currently Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria), is the largest ever documented outbreak in terms of numbers and geographical spread, and is fast spiralling out of control. It has led to a complete collapse of the health systems in many of the affected regions, not to mention severe economic and social impacts on communities. The overall situation remains critical as the outbreak has not yet reached its peak and is currently still in a phase of rapid spread, while the increasing number of healthcare workers that have been infected is a major cause for concern.

Earlier in September, Ban Ki-moon announced that the UN had established an Ebola crisis centre, and it was asking for $660 million from Member States to respond to the outbreak. It is our responsibility as members of the Public Health community to strongly support these efforts and to put political pressure on our elected officials (both national and European) to do the same and call on European governments and the EU as a whole to mobilise and pledge the resources necessary to respond to the UN call.

During this session we will:

  • Consider ethical debates on the response to this current epidemic (fast track drugs, exception criteria, etc.);
  • Identify mistakes made in the past so as not to repeat them in the future, including in the current Ebola epidemiological outbreak (as well as in other movements of international aid);
  • Discuss how to use international aid as a lever to empower national health systems.


Marc Sprenger, Director, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (via videomessage)

Ilona Kickbusch, Director, Global Health Programme, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Switzerland

Mario Thaler, General Director, Medecins Sans Frontieres, Austria

Nedret Emiroglu, Deputy Director, Division of Communicable Diseases, Health Security and Environment at World Health Organization


Jose M Martin-Moreno, University of Valencia, Spain

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