Impact on Other Health Services
The response to the Ebola epidemic overwhelmed the healthcare systems of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, reducing access to health services for diagnosis and treatment for the major diseases that are endemic to the region: malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. In 2015, CDC estimated that a 50 percent reduction in access to healthcare services during the Ebola outbreak exacerbated malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis mortality rates significantly. In other words, the epidemic was catastrophic in these countries, and its indirect impact of increasing the mortality rates of other diseases was substantial.
The three highly-impacted countries mapped out post-Ebola strategies for recovering their health systems. CDC now operates three country offices in the region. CDC assisted the Liberian Ministry of Health with its first Field Epidemiology Training Program to train disease detectives. The CDC office in Guinea is helping to develop and sustain capacities to prevent, rapidly detect, and effectively respond to public health threats such as Ebola. In Sierra Leone, CDC supports laboratory and surveillance capacity, and supports training to build disease detection.