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Presented By: Institute for Social Research

Is the Phone Mightier than the Virus? Cell Phone Access and Epidemic Containment Efforts

Elisa Maffioli - PSC Brown Bag Series

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This talk examines the impact of mobile phone access on the containment of an epidemic. Speaker Elisa Maffioli et al. study this question in the context of the 2014 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Liberia. They found that having access to cell phone coverage leads to a 10.8 percentage point reduction in the likelihood that a village has an EVD case. Results from this novel survey collected following the epidemic suggest that this is mostly explained by cellphone access facilitating emergency care provision rather than improving access to outbreak-related information.

Dr. Maffioli is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Health Management and Policy, at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Her research is in development economics, health economics and political economy, with a focus on infectious diseases, maternal and child health, and nutrition in lower income countries. She is currently working in Liberia, Myanmar, Brazil, Mozambique and Nigeria, and has also conducted research in Lesotho, Kenya and India.

Michigan Population Studies Center (PSC) Brown Bag seminars highlight recent research in population studies and serve as a focal point for building our research community.
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