Exploring Caregiving Experiences During the 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in Liberia
Sieka, Joseph Matu
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CitationSieka, Joseph Matu. 2019. Exploring Caregiving Experiences During the 2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in Liberia. Master's thesis, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractEbola Virus Disease has emerged as a threat that has moved from affecting small isolated rural areas now to large urban centers, as demonstrated by the 2014-2016 EVD outbreak in West Africa. In urban centers, containment efforts are very challenging and require multifaceted solutions. A major part of containment is isolating the infected. However, Isolation measures often evoke memories of colonial history where similar, but more draconian measures were employed to contain outbreaks of Smallpox and influenza.
Recall of these historical antecedents led to resistance and distrust among the population seeking care in isolation centers and Ebola Treatment Units. In the recent past, efforts at mass isolation and quarantine have been fiercely resisted by the population.
A major part of the response efforts was concentrated at breaking the chains of transmission by isolating and treating patients in specialized treatment units called Ebola Treatment Units (ETUs) to preventing further spread of infection. The received wisdom, then as now still staunchly held by some, is that Ebola has fatality rates are more than 90%. However, the mortality rare for infected patients that were medically evacuated and treated in Western countries was 18.5%. That raises the question what we can replicate these successes in settings of poverty.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364904