Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Urban Studies

First Advisor

Garth Myers

Second Advisor

Xiangming Chen



The 2013 – 2015 Ebola pandemic had a devastating impact on the countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, with a few regional and global sparks as a result of the 25,178 cases and 10,445 deaths that the epidemic has so far brought upon the three most affected nations by April First 2015. The epidemic has collapsed healthcare systems, economies, and the very social fabric of life within the subregion itself. In the light of this tragic epidemic, one question stands out above all, “How and why did this happen?” The medical literature around Ebola is sound and due to this current epidemic vast and greatly updated. However the story of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea and why they were so susceptible to the epidemic has not been reflected upon in modern academic literature. This paper will review the historical, institutional, geographic, and environmental factors that led towards the Ebola virus finding these three countries a near- perfect breeding ground as well as the consequences that this epidemic has for future outbreaks and the lessons it serves for public health policy.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College for the degree of Bachelor or Arts in Urban Studies.