What’s a life worth? $13,801 on average

10 September, 2019

A recent paper published by Kirigia, Mathuri and Mathuri in BMC Public Health (The monetary value of human lives lost through Ebola Virus Disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019, September 2019, BMC Public Health 19 (1218) https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-75...) carries out an analysis of the monetary value of the 1,286 deaths from Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that occurred in the Democratic Republic of Congo between 8 May 2018 and 27 May 2019. The total monetary value of years of life lost was $17,761,539, giving an average per life of $13,801. Those curious as to how this number was arrived at are welcome to browse the article, which is free of charge and open access.

The purpose of such a grim calculation is to spur government investment in Ebola prevention. The paper concludes that there is an urgent need for the DRC government and its development partners to disburse adequate resources to strengthen the national health system and other systems that address social determinants of health to end the recurrence of Ebola Virus Disease outbreaks.


Chris Zielinski


Blogs: http://ziggytheblue.wordpress.com and http://ziggytheblue.tumblr.com

Research publications: http://www.researchgate.net

HIFA profile: Chris Zielinski: As a Visiting Fellow in the Centre for Global Health, Chris leads the Partnerships in Health Information (Phi) programme at the University of Winchester. Formerly an NGO, Phi supports knowledge development and brokers healthcare information exchanges of all kinds. Chris has held senior positions in publishing and knowledge management with WHO in Brazzaville, Geneva, Cairo and New Delhi, with FAO in Rome, ILO in Geneva, and UNIDO in Vienna. Chris also spent three years in London as Chief Executive of the Authors Licensing and Collecting Society. He was the founder of the ExtraMED project (Third World biomedical journals on CD-ROM), and managed the Gates Foundation-supported Health Information Resource Centres project. He served on WHO’s Ethical Review Committee, and was an originator of the African Health Observatory. Chris has been a director of the World Association of Medical Editors, UK Copyright Licensing Agency, Educational Recording Agency, and International Association of Audiovisual Writers and Directors. He has served on the boards of several NGOs and ethics groupings (information and computer ethics and bioethics). UK-based, he is also building houses in Zambia. chris AT chriszielinski.com

His publications are at www.ResearchGate.net and https://winchester.academia.edu/ChrisZielinski/ and his blogs are http://ziggytheblue.wordrpress.com and https://www.tumblr.com/blog/ziggytheblue