IAPO supports members’ efforts to highlight the devastating impact of Ebola in West Africa

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

The International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) has received an impassioned letter from our member, the Liberian United Youth for Community Safety and Development, which describes how the Ebola epidemic is having a dire effect on health facilities and on communities. 

Our member informed us that suspected individuals, after being quarantined, are still being rejected by their own communities. The true consequences and impacts of the disease are worsening, both within the country, and on a global scale.

We praise the efforts of the volunteers, healthcare providers, the World Health Organization (WHO), other international agencies and all those involved in fighting this epidemic.

IAPO believes that the needs of patients and the public must be the first consideration in the response to Ebola. The WHO stated the confirmed death toll was 4,818 on 6 November, and that more help is needed.[i] This crisis highlights how all stakeholders need to work together to strengthen health systems in all countries and strive for effective engagement with patients and communities. Patient-centred healthcare must be the top priority of all healthcare systems, especially when crises such as the Ebola virus strike.

IAPO Governing Board Chair Kin-ping Tsang stated that,

‘We commend the work of our member organizations who are raising awareness of this problem, not only of the impact of Ebola to individuals, but also the devastating impact on whole communities. We call on national health systems, governments and international agencies to ensure that those in need have access to good care, accurate information and ongoing support to strengthen the health of communities during and after this immediate crisis’.

IAPO CEO Joanna Groves said,

‘IAPO continues to work closely with its members, other partners such as the WHO and international health professional associations to promote the importance of hearing from and responding to the needs of patients, including when crises, such as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, occur’.

IAPO is a unique global alliance representing patients of all nations, across all disease areas. We work to promote patient-centred healthcare around the world. With over 240 members, it is estimated that IAPO represents nearly 365 million patients.

For all enquiries, please contact IAPO Communications Officer, Ian Ford: ian@iapo.org.uk and +44 20 7250 8280


[i] BBC News, Ebola outbreak: UN ‘lacks resources’ to fight deadly virus, 6 November 2014. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-29929024

The original letter is available for viewing

​Position Statement 10 November 2014