The 2014 Ebola virus disease epidemic: the International Health Regulations in the perspective of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Abstract Introduction In the context of the 2014 West African Ebola virus outbreak, this article aims to discuss the international strategies for the control of communicable diseases, based on the International Health Regulations (IHR) adopted by the World Health Assembly in May 2005, in the perspective of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Method This is an exploratory, qualitative study conducted from a bibliographic research on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). Data were collected from documents available at the official websites of the UN, WHO and PAHO, as well as from scientific papers related to the topic and reading of the IHR and UDHR. Result The results show that certain action and control measures applied during the epidemic for combating the disease were not in accordance with the International Health Regulations, considering the ideals of right to health and human rights. Conclusion It is necessary that agencies and organizations with international decision-making power join forces to assist vulnerable countries in West Africa in order to ensure human rights and prevent new epidemics.