All the Mothers Are Dead: Ebola’s Chilling Effects on the Young Women of One Liberian Town Named Joe Blow

  • David A. Schwartz
Part of the Global Maternal and Child Health book series (GMCH)


The Ebola virus epidemic was unexpected in Liberia, which was unprepared to cope with the rapid spread and extensive devastation caused by the disease. This was nowhere truer than in the tiny Liberian village of Joe Blow Town. Following the illness and death of a woman, all of the mothers in the village died as a result of acquiring Ebola virus disease while caring for her and preparing her funeral, leaving their children orphaned. This chapter summarizes the course of the Ebola virus epidemic in Liberia, its effect on the women and children in one village, and the mortuary and burial practices that were responsible for the death of all the mothers in Joe Blow Town.


Mother death Orphan Liberia Joe Blow Town Outbreak Ebola transmission Funeral Traditional funerary practice Mortuary practice Body washing Gender-based risk Epidemiology Burial practice Caring for ill 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyMedical College of Georgia, Augusta UniversityAugustaUSA

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