The Tyee has published my review: In ‘The Politics of Fear,’ Mèdecins Sans Frontiéres Reflects on Response to Ebola Crisis. Excerpt:
This book should be a required text in every school of public health in the world, and in the training program of every health-related nongovernmental organization. Health bureaucrats and journalists should have it on their phones and tablets, where they can consult it when new outbreaks occur.
That’s because it throws a new kind of light on a serious disease outbreak — and especially on how we respond to such outbreaks. Here, the real story is the failure of the global health community to understand its own considerable role in the spread of Ebola and other diseases.
After any bad outbreak, governments and nongovernmental agencies usually do private post-mortems and then issue bland “lessons learned” reports that may or may not be applied in the next outbreak. This post-mortem by Médecins Sans Frontières is neither private nor bland. It is a tough look at itself, involving both its own people who fought Ebola in West Africa and outsiders given access to MSF internal documents about the outbreak.
Then, rather than keep the findings in-house, MSF brought out this book. Of its many lessons, one stands out: health workers’ culture and politics are as much a part of an outbreak as those of the people they help, and fear drives both culture and politics.