Photograph by Aurélie Marrier d'Unienville
Volunteer burial workers in Sierra Leone place bodies of Ebola victims into dirt graves. The 2014 Ebola epidemic claimed 11,000 lives in West Africa.
For decades, there was little effort to develop vaccines or treatments for neglected diseases like Ebola, which were rare and afflicted the world’s poorest people. This meant that when the 2014 Ebola crisis hit West Africa, the world was woefully unprepared to combat the disease. Weak health systems in Sierra Leone and neighboring countries collapsed almost immediately under pressure and countries didn't have effective tools to fight the disease at their disposal.
After the 2014 Ebola crisis, efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine were finally launched in earnest. Yet, for the thousands who died, it is too late.