In November 2014, during the height of the Ebola epidemic sweeping across Guinea, Liberia and Sierre Leone, AFP-Services dispatched a team into the hot zones to cover the work of two UN organizations – UNDP, UNFPA – and the European Commission on the ground in trying to bring this deadly outbreak under control.
It was a stressful, dangerous and wrenching assignment. Video-journalist Edouard Dufrasne, from Brussels, and photographer Kenzo Tribouillard, from Paris, underwent rigorous safety training before embarking on the mission.
During a month in the field, working across all three nations, they were able to provide a valuable, and moving, record of the critical work done by the UN and the European Commission in helping to contain the disease.
“I have done a lot of conflict zones as a video journalist,” says video-journalist Edouard Dufrasne. “I had just come back, in fact, from Syria and Iraq when I got this assignment.” But in some ways, covering the outbreak and its terrible consequences was “a lot scarier” than covering a war, he said. “There was no front line – danger could come from anywhere and everywhere. Touching a door handle could be risky. To be honest, I felt more comfortable on a front line knowing that ISIS was 500 metres in front of me.” To complete his assignment, Edouard worked closely with the on-site representatives of the UN organizations, and shadowed the UN commissioners when they toured the affected areas.