Paper $19.95 ISBN: 9781786992482 Published August 2018 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786992475 Published August 2018 For sale in North and South America only

Getting to Zero

A Doctor and a Diplomat on the Ebola Frontline

Sinead Walsh and Oliver Johnson

Getting to Zero

Sinead Walsh and Oliver Johnson

Distributed for Zed Books

352 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $19.95 ISBN: 9781786992482 Published August 2018 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781786992475 Published August 2018 For sale in North and South America only
In 2014, a twenty-eighty-year old British doctor found himself running the Ebola isolation unit in Sierra Leone’s largest hospital after the virus killed the doctor in charge. Completely overwhelmed and wrapped in stifling protective suits, he and his colleagues took turns providing basic care to patients while removing dead bodies from the ward. Facing incredible odds, the doctor battled to keep the hospital open, as the line of sick and dying patients grew every day.        
Only a few miles down the road, the Irish Ambassador and head of Irish Aid realized they were facing a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented scale. Knowing that aid would only come with international attention, she worked relentlessly to push the country’s plight into the global spotlight.  At a time when entire districts had been quarantined, she travelled around the country to meet with UN agencies as well as Sierra Leone’s president and senior ministers, hoping to secure help in time to stop the spread of the horrifying disease.
In this blow-by-blow account, Walsh and Johnson relate what it was like to work on the frontlines of an epidemic. They expose the often-shocking shortcomings of the humanitarian response to the scourge, both locally and internationally. They also profile the immense courage of those who put their lives on the line every day to contain the disease. Both harrowing and hopeful, their story is the definitive account of the fight against an epidemic that shook the world.
Review Quotes
Nature
“This memoir enshrines distinct perspectives on the front line of a fraught epidemic, to offer a nuanced analysis: we see both the Herculean efforts on the ground, and the humanitarian response, warts and all. . . . Among the lessons learnt, the need to respect local ‘citizen medics’ and collaborate with governments is pure gold.”
Guardian
“In Getting to Zero, the duo show how a litany of mistakes made in distant offices in New York, Washington, London and Geneva, combined with poor leadership in Sierra Leone and a weak health service, created a catastrophe that could have been prevented.”
Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the UN
“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.”
Tom Frieden, president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“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.”
Paul Farmer, Harvard Medical School, and cofounder of Partners in Health
“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.”
David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee
“A brave, bold, yet humble account from the front lines of the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. This is vital reading to help us all do better next time.”
Lord Nigel Crisp, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Health
“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.”
Eldryd Parry, founder of the Tropical Health and Education Trust
“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.”
Tulip Mazumdar, Global Health Correspondent for BBC News
“Johnson and Walsh provide a frank, beautifully written, and essential guide to the lessons learned from the heart of the Ebola outbreak. Their first-hand experiences in battling this terrible disease will take your breath away. A must read.”
O. B. Sisay, director of the Situation Room at the National Ebola Response Centre, Sierra Leone
“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.”
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust
“A captivating and brutally honest account of the Ebola epidemic from two brave, committed individuals who unexpectedly found themselves at its epicenter. The authors pull no punches, and leave us asking: Will these lessons be learned, or will the world once again forget and move on?”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
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