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Courage is not the absence of fear: responding to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

Mobula LM - Glob Health Sci Pract (2014)

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: United States Agency for International Development/AAAS S&T Fellow, Washington, DC, USA, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA. While in Liberia, with the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) of Samaritan's Purse. mmobula@usaid.gov.

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Since the onset of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in February 2014, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 370 health care workers have been infected with Ebola virus disease (EVD), and 216 have since died... During the height of the Ebola epidemic, I had the unique opportunity of working at the Ebola Case Management Center of the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) hospital in Monrovia, Liberia... About a third of all patients with Ebola admitted to ELWA were health care workers... A famous quote from author Ambrose Hollingworth Redmoon (born James Neil Hollingworth) goes: Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear... The timid presume it is lack of fear that allows the brave to act when the timid do not... In my time serving at ELWA, as more health care workers became infected, fewer reported to duty, leading to a further shortage of personnel... On my last day at ELWA, the treatment center was brimming with patients in every bed and there were a limited number of health care workers providing vital medical care while dozens of protesters stood outside chanting and shouting; the challenges in providing patient care were insurmountable... As a matter of fact, given the challenges of implementing infection control measures nationwide, I feared that the situation would soon escalate into a humanitarian emergency... A myriad of factors have led to an inadequate response to this horrendous outbreak, from the lack of public health and health care delivery infrastructure to the persistence of unsafe burial practices and an environment of mistrust... In order to contain this outbreak, we must have a thorough understanding of cultural practices... And to overcome the mistrust, it is paramount that we use credible voices from Liberian communities to reinforce health promotion messages that are tailored to Liberian culture... Despite these challenges, I have faith and am hopeful that the international community will come together and create a clear plan of action to prevent the loss of thousands of lives... This is a unique opportunity for the international community to combine our technical expertise in public health, medicine, disaster management, and social science to better understand and address barriers that are preventing an effective response to the Ebola outbreak of 2014... It is also an opportunity to review how we can build the health infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries to prevent a disaster of this proportion from recurring.

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Gloves, boots, and goggles drying after decontamination with chlorine in the courtyard at the ELWA Ebola Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia.
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f02: Gloves, boots, and goggles drying after decontamination with chlorine in the courtyard at the ELWA Ebola Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia.

Mentions: This is a unique opportunity for the international community to combine our technical expertise in public health, medicine, disaster management, and social science to better understand and address barriers that are preventing an effective response to the Ebola outbreak of 2014. It is also an opportunity to review how we can build the health infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries to prevent a disaster of this proportion from recurring.


Courage is not the absence of fear: responding to the Ebola outbreak in Liberia.

Mobula LM - Glob Health Sci Pract (2014)

Gloves, boots, and goggles drying after decontamination with chlorine in the courtyard at the ELWA Ebola Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4307864&req=5

f02: Gloves, boots, and goggles drying after decontamination with chlorine in the courtyard at the ELWA Ebola Case Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia.
Mentions: This is a unique opportunity for the international community to combine our technical expertise in public health, medicine, disaster management, and social science to better understand and address barriers that are preventing an effective response to the Ebola outbreak of 2014. It is also an opportunity to review how we can build the health infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries to prevent a disaster of this proportion from recurring.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: United States Agency for International Development/AAAS S&T Fellow, Washington, DC, USA, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA. While in Liberia, with the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) of Samaritan's Purse. mmobula@usaid.gov.

AUTOMATICALLY GENERATED EXCERPT
Please rate it.

Since the onset of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in February 2014, the World Health Organization estimates that more than 370 health care workers have been infected with Ebola virus disease (EVD), and 216 have since died... During the height of the Ebola epidemic, I had the unique opportunity of working at the Ebola Case Management Center of the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) hospital in Monrovia, Liberia... About a third of all patients with Ebola admitted to ELWA were health care workers... A famous quote from author Ambrose Hollingworth Redmoon (born James Neil Hollingworth) goes: Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear... The timid presume it is lack of fear that allows the brave to act when the timid do not... In my time serving at ELWA, as more health care workers became infected, fewer reported to duty, leading to a further shortage of personnel... On my last day at ELWA, the treatment center was brimming with patients in every bed and there were a limited number of health care workers providing vital medical care while dozens of protesters stood outside chanting and shouting; the challenges in providing patient care were insurmountable... As a matter of fact, given the challenges of implementing infection control measures nationwide, I feared that the situation would soon escalate into a humanitarian emergency... A myriad of factors have led to an inadequate response to this horrendous outbreak, from the lack of public health and health care delivery infrastructure to the persistence of unsafe burial practices and an environment of mistrust... In order to contain this outbreak, we must have a thorough understanding of cultural practices... And to overcome the mistrust, it is paramount that we use credible voices from Liberian communities to reinforce health promotion messages that are tailored to Liberian culture... Despite these challenges, I have faith and am hopeful that the international community will come together and create a clear plan of action to prevent the loss of thousands of lives... This is a unique opportunity for the international community to combine our technical expertise in public health, medicine, disaster management, and social science to better understand and address barriers that are preventing an effective response to the Ebola outbreak of 2014... It is also an opportunity to review how we can build the health infrastructure in low- and middle-income countries to prevent a disaster of this proportion from recurring.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus