Research for stronger health systems during and after crisis

New paper on health workers’ experiences of coping with the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone’s

Monday, 09 Apr 2018

 Ebola in Sierra Leone

A new paper has been published this week by the ReBUILD Consortium which looks the experiences of health workers in Sierra Leone during the 2014-16 Ebola outbreak, and the coping mechanisms they adopted. 'Health workers’ experiences of coping with the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone’s health system: a qualitative study' considered an already weak health system which had struggled to cope with the outbreak, and the experiences of those working in it

The team, led by Dr Joanna Raven of the department of International Public Health at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, examined four districts in Sierra Leone - Bonthe, Kenema, Koinadugu and Western Area. They conducted interviews with members of the District Health Management Teams and local councils, health facility managers, international partners, local health workers working in public health facilities and international health workers involved with the treatment of Ebola patients.

The research found that several important coping strategies were used including those that drew upon existing mechanisms, and that supportive supervision, peer support networks and better use of communication technology should be pursued, alongside a programme for rebuilding trusting relations with community structures.

Access the paper

Raven, J1, Wurie, H2 & Witter, S3 (2018), 'Health workers' experiences of coping with the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone's health system: a qualitative study', BMC Health Services Research 2018 18:251 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3072-3

1 International Public Health, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (UK)
2 College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (Sierra Leone)
3 Institute for Global Health and Development, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (UK)