The Road to Zero: The West Africa Ebola Epidemic, 2014-2016
Organized by the David J. Sencer CDC Museum
June 19 – December 27, 2017
The Road to Zero is an investigation of the historic 2014-16 Ebola Fever Virus epidemic in West Africa, the United States, and around the world. As the crisis unfolded in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone in 2014, it evolved into both a health and humanitarian crisis. When it became clear that Ebola could potentially spread exponentially, threatening global health security, there was a coordinated, massive response. CDC and the U.S. government, the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), other governments, philanthropic donors to organizations such as the CDC Foundation, and many international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) mobilized massive resources in fall 2014.
Introduced by a timeline of events, the exhibition will explore the early days of the outbreak, the heroic work of West African and international health workers, contact tracing, safe burial procedures, how America responded when Ebola reached the U.S., and issues facing Ebola survivors, including stigma. Throughout the epidemic, CDC personnel deployed to West Africa assisted with the response efforts including surveillance, contact tracing, data management, laboratory testing, and health education. In Atlanta, thousands of CDC staff members provided logistics, analytics, and management.
The Road to Zero will feature artifacts such as personal protective equipment (PPE) worn in West Africa and the U.S.; lab equipment used in CDC’s temporary hot lab in Bo, Sierra Leone; hand-washing stations; and first-person audio testimonials. Health communication materials, including posters, T-shirts, flipbooks, cellphones and tablets used by Ebola disease detectives will be on view. Stunning photographs by some of the world’s leading photojournalists and documentary photographers, along with images taken by CDC staff members deployed to West Africa, will document the epidemic. The exhibition will close with an introspective look at “lessons learned” by CDC and its partners, and the efforts to create a public health and societal infrastructure that can conquer diseases such as Ebola before they become international public health emergencies.
The exhibition will honor the Ebola survivors and the West African people who were at the forefront of treating its citizens, controlling and preventing the disease, and working to restore civil society after economic and societal disruptions.
Image: David Goldman/Associated Press
Seen through window, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s emergency operations center in Atlanta have a conference call with CDC members deployed in West Africa.
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- Page last updated: November 10, 2016
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