Background: The 2014-2016 Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa was the largest EVD outbreak recorded, which has triggered calls for investments that would facilitate an even earlier response. This study aims to estimate the costs and health effects of earlier interventions in Sierra Leone. Methods: A deterministic and a stochastic compartment model describing the EVD outbreak was estimated using a variety of data sources. Costs and Disability-Adjusted Life Years were used to estimate and compare scenarios of earlier interventions. Results: Four weeks earlier interventions would have averted 10,257 (IQR 4353-18,813) cases and 8835 (IQR 3766-16,316) deaths. This implies 456 (IQR 194-841) thousand DALYs and 203 (IQR 87-374) million $US saved. The greatest losses occurred outside the healthcare sector. Conclusions: Earlier response in an Ebola outbreak saves lives and costs. Investments in healthcare system facilitating such responses are needed and can offer good value for money.

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Keywords Cost-effectiveness, Ebola virus disease, Policy evaluation
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Journal Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation
Kellerborg, K. (Klas), Brouwer, W.B.F, & van Baal, P.H.M. (2020). Costs and benefits of early response in the Ebola virus disease outbreak in Sierra Leone. Cost Effectiveness and Resource Allocation, 18(1). doi:10.1186/s12962-020-00207-x