Conflict events can disrupt immunization programs and lead to attacks on health workers

This modeling study examined the impact of conflict events on disease control efforts during an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The model used a timeline of conflict events and an ethnographic appraisal of attacks on health care workers and treatment centers to estimate their impact on the epidemic trajectory of Ebola. Overall, the population-level effectiveness of vaccination was reduced by 43% due to disruptive conflict events. The researchers also found that declining incidence of Ebola was repeatedly reversed by conflict events. This framework can be extended to other diseases and regions experiencing conflict.

Disease outbreaks can be associated with school closures, food insecurity, and health system disruptions

In a 2018 study, researchers describe the devastating and far-reaching impacts of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including more than half a million people experiencing food insecurity, school closures lasting more than 7 months, tens of thousands of children orphaned, and a huge proportion of the health workforce killed by the disease, leading to infant, maternal, and child deaths due to a lack of skilled health workers and a 97% reduction in surgical capacity.