West African nations like Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia could suffer exponentially more disastrous effects from the Ebola virus if the international response to the epidemic isn’t improved, according to a panel of experts speaking Sept. 23, 2014 at Harvard University’s Barker Center.

Quoted in a Harvard Crimson article, panelist Patrick Vinck, a visiting scientist at Harvard School of Public Health, said that one problem is that many West African residents are wary of outside officials instructing them how to deal with the outbreak — even if those officials have good intentions.

“That relationship between the health sector and the people [of West Africa] is not as well established as it is in dealing with the Church, for example,” Vinck said.

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