Getting to Zero
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Getting to Zero : A Doctor and a Diplomat on the Ebola Frontline

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In 2014, a 28-year old British doctor found himself co-running the Ebola isolation unit in Sierra Leone's main hospital after the doctor in charge had been killed by the virus. Completely overwhelmed and wrapped in stifling protective suits, he and his team took it in turns to provide care to patients while removing dead bodies from the ward. Against all odds he battled to keep the hospital open, as the queue of sick and dying patients grew every day.



Only a few miles down the road the Irish Ambassador and Head of Irish Aid worked relentlessly to rapidly scale up the international response. At a time when entire districts had been quarantined, she travelled around the country, and met with UN agencies, the President and senior ministers so as to be better placed in alerting the world to the catastrophe unfolding in front of her.

In this blow-by-blow account, Walsh and Johnson expose the often shocking shortcomings of the humanitarian response to the outbreak, both locally and internationally, and call our attention to the immense courage of those who put their lives on the line every day to contain the disease. Theirs is the definitive account of the fight against an epidemic that shook the world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 442 pages
  • 135 x 216 x 33.02mm | 453.59g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2 Bibliography; 1 Index; 2 Maps
  • 1786992485
  • 9781786992482
  • 157,326

Table of contents

Maps
Preface

1. New Beginnings: Sierra Leone before the Outbreak of Ebola
2. A Dubious Start: Ebola in Guinea
3. Ebola Emerges in Sierra Leone
4. Kenema Explodes
5. Armageddon
6. The Long Wait for Action
7. The Response Kicks Off
8. The Response Bears Fruit
9. Getting to Zero
10. Conclusion
Afterword: If We Had to Do It All Again...
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Review Text

'Takes us behind the scenes to the harrowing frontlines of the Ebola epidemic - highlighting a set of lessons that an inter-connected world would ignore at our peril. A compelling read.'
Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the UN

'A brave, bold, yet humble account from the frontlines of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. This is vital reading to help us all do better next time.'
David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee

'Walsh and Johnson represent the best of international intervention. This book reveals the complexities and level of cooperation that made "getting to zero" possible. Offers excellent insight into those trying times.'
O.B. Sisay, Director of the Situation Room at the National Ebola Response Centre, Sierra Leone

'A detailed, up-close-and-personal perspective on the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, important for all who want to understand what it is to confront a terrible health threat.'
Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, and former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

'Johnson and Walsh provide a frank, beautifully written, and essential guide to the lessons learned from the heart of the outbreak. Their first-hand experiences in battling this terrible disease will take your breath away. A must read.
Tulip Mazumdar, Global Health Correspondent for BBC News

'An extraordinary account from the thick of the battle against Ebola. This is history's first draft, and a powerful example of persistent and pragmatic leadership. Mandatory reading for anyone concerned with global health in the broadest sense.'
Paul Farmer, Harvard Medical School, and co-founder of Partners in Health

'A captivating and brutally honest account of the Ebola epidemic from two brave, committed individuals who unexpectedly found themselves at its epicentre. The authors pull no punches, and leave us asking: will these lessons be learned, or will the world once again forget and move on?'
Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust

'This powerful book asks important questions about aid and development and offers insights that everyone working in global health should absorb - as well as being a personal and very moving account of an epidemic that killed thousands.'
Lord Nigel Crisp, Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health

'Courage in extreme clinical danger, courage to challenge obstructive bureaucracy, courage to make tough decisions and the courage to endure. This is the courage that Sinead Walsh and Oliver Johnson displayed in Sierra Leone. Their compelling book is essential reading for all who care about global health.'
Eldryd Parry, founder of the Tropical Health and Education Trust
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Review quote

`Takes us behind the scenes to the harrowing frontlines of the Ebola epidemic - highlighting a set of lessons that an inter-connected world would ignore at our peril. A compelling read.'

Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the UN



`A brave, bold, yet humble account from the frontlines of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. This is vital reading to help us all do better next time.'

David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee



`Walsh and Johnson represent the best of international intervention. This book reveals the complexities and level of cooperation that made `getting to zero` possible. Offers excellent insight into those trying times.'

O.B. Sisay, Director of the Situation Room at the National Ebola Response Centre, Sierra Leone



`Johnson and Walsh provide a frank, beautifully written, and essential guide to the lessons learned from the heart of the outbreak. Their first-hand experiences in battling this terrible disease will take your breath away. A must read.'
Tulip Mazumdar, Global Health Correspondent for BBC News



`An extraordinary account from the thick of the battle against Ebola. This is history's first draft, and a powerful example of persistent and pragmatic leadership. Mandatory reading for anyone concerned with global health in the broadest sense.'

Paul Farmer, Harvard Medical School, and co-founder of Partners in Health



'A captivating and brutally honest account of the Ebola epidemic from two brave, committed individuals who unexpectedly found themselves at its epicentre. The authors pull no punches, and leave us asking: will these lessons be learned, or will the world once again forget and move on?'

Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust

‘A detailed, up-close-and-personal perspective on the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, important for all who want to understand what it is to confront a terrible health threat.’

Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, and former Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
show more

About Dr Sinead Walsh

Dr Sinead Walsh served as Ireland's ambassador to Sierra Leone and Liberia at the height of the Ebola epidemic, whilst also serving as the Head of Mission for Irish Aid. She worked for Concern Worldwide and Human Rights Watch in countries across the globe before joining Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in 2009. In 2016-17 she was a senior visiting fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

Dr Oliver Johnson OBE was Country Director for King's Sierra Leone Partnership, where he played a key role in the response to the Ebola epidemic. He had previously worked as Director of Strategy & Teaching Fellow at the King's Centre for Global Health and as Policy Director for the UK Parliament's All-Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health. He is currently a visiting lecturer at King's College London.
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