The €2 billion provided by the EU helped contain one of the biggest Ebola outbreaks in history




In 2014, a highly contagious and often deadly disease broke out in West Africa. By 2016 over 28,000 people had been infected with the Ebola virus, with more than 11,000 reported deaths. It was a race against time to contain an unfolding humanitarian disaster. The EU played a pivotal role in coordinating the assistance provided by European countries.


A humanitarian crisis: how the EU helped contain Ebola in Africa 

With Ebola raging in West Africa, the EU helped hundreds of people from across Europe join forces to tackle the outbreak. 


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Dr. Danny Asogun

European Mobile Laboratory, Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital


“Our mobile lab was sent to Sierra Leone to test locals for Ebola. Between 2014-2016, we tested a total of 7,477 samples for the disease.” 

"Our work depended on EU assistance: logistical support from our European partners, the supply of diagnosis kits as well as the doctors and nurses who came to work with us."


“In a crisis, a single organisation cannot do the job alone.”

 - Dr Danny Asogun



Hans Kuhn

German, Altona Diagnostics


“Ebola is very difficult to contain because many symptoms mimic other diseases. This is why diagnosis is so important. When the disease hit West Africa in 2014, EU-supported mobile labs used our diagnosis kits to test patients with symptoms of the virus.”

"Thanks to EU support, our diagnosis tests can now deliver results in under 75 minutes.”


“Having ready-to-use diagnosis kits was very important.”

 - Hans Kuhn


John Ryan

Irish, Health department, European Commission


“We immediately started screening at exit points from West Africa, to ensure that people with Ebola symptoms were not boarding planes but airlines could keep flying to the region. Without this, medical equipment, doctors and NGO workers would not have been able to travel to West Africa.”


“In a crisis like this, it’s vital to stop an outbreak as quickly as possible in the country of origin.”

 - John Ryan


Juan Escalante

Italian, Emergency Response Coordination Centre, European Commission


“During the West African Ebola outbreak, we were a critical point of contact for the evacuation of humanitarian workers. As soon as we got a call, we’d activate the EU mechanism to coordinate the evacuation by aeroplane.” 

"This reassured our doctors and staff. When there’s a person out there in danger, you know you have to do everything to get them help.”


“It’s not only about evacuations – it’s about the signal you send to people that help is on its way”

 - Juan Escalante


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