"Quarantines have been employed for thousands of years as a strategy to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. More recently, quarantines have been used in a number of public health crises, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreaks in Canada and China in 2003 and an incidence of Bubonic Plague in Yumen, China, in 2014. In 2014 and 2015, the rapid spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) led governments in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to impose quarantines in dense urban environments. This created a number of new challenges for humanitarian agencies working in these contexts. As part of ALNAP's Learning from the Ebola Response in cities, this paper describes approaches to quarantine in urban Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. It focuses in particular on how humanitarians navigated the context of urban quarantine, what worked and what didn't and what can be learnt for future public health emergencies in urban contexts. This paper does not seek to examine broader questions about quarantine, such as when/whether it is effective, when it should be used and other questions not specific to quarantine in urban environments or of direct relevance to international humanitarian organisations."
© ALNAP/ODI 2017. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial Licence (CC BY-NC 4.0).
Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action: http://www.alnap.org/