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Academic Institutions’ Critical Guidelines for Health Care Workers Who Deploy to West Africa for the Ebola Response and Future Crises*

  • Hilarie Cranmer (a1), Miriam Aschkenasy (a1), Ryan Wildes (a2), Stephanie Kayden (a3), David Bangsberg (a4), Michelle Niescierenko (a5), Katie Kemen (a6), Kai-Hsun Hsiao (a7), Michael VanRooyen (a8), Frederick M. Burkle (a9) and Paul D. Biddinger (a10)...
Abstract
Abstract

The unprecedented Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa, with its first cases documented in March 2014, has claimed the lives of thousands of people, and it has devastated the health care infrastructure and workforce in affected countries. Throughout this outbreak, there has been a critical lack of health care workers (HCW), including physicians, nurses, and other essential non-clinical staff, who have been needed, in most of the affected countries, to support the medical response to EVD, to attend to the health care needs of the population overall, and to be trained effectively in infection protection and control. This lack of sufficient and qualified HCW is due in large part to three factors: 1) limited HCW staff prior to the outbreak, 2) disproportionate illness and death among HCWs caused by EVD directly, and 3) valid concerns about personal safety among international HCWs who are considering responding to the affected areas. These guidelines are meant to inform institutions who deploy professional HCWs. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:586–590)

Copyright
Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to Hilarie Cranmer, MD, MPH, Director of Global Disaster Response, Center for Global Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, 100 Cambridge St, 15th Floor, Boston, MA 02114 (e-mail: hcranmer@partners.org).
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*

This article originally appeared in Harvard Health Policy Review: Cranmer HH et al. Academic Institutions' Critical Guidelines for Health Care Workers who Deploy to West Africa for the Ebola Response and Future Crises. Harvard Health Policy Review. 2015;14(2):22-24. The article is reprinted here with permission.

Footnotes
References
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1 WHO. Health Workforce Programme. Achieving the health-related MDGs. http://www.who.int/hrh/workforce_mdgs/en/. Accessed February 16, 2015.
2 WHO. Density of Physicians and Nurses – total number per 1000, latest available year, Global Health Observatory Data. http://www.who.int/gho/health_workforce/. Accessed February 11, 2015.
3 Majumder M. Estimating the fatality of the West African Ebola outbreak. Outbreak News Research & Policy. September 10, 2014.http://www.healthmap.org/site/diseasedaily/article/estimating-fatality-2014-west-african-ebola-outbreak-91014#sthash.BJCldDcq.dpuf. Accessed February 18, 2015.
4 WHO. Ebola Situation Report - 18 Feb 2015. http://apps.who.int/ebola/en/ebola-situation-report/situation-reports/ebola-situation-report-18-february-2015. Accessed February 20, 2015.
5 Linshi J. Ebola health care workers are dying faster than their patients. Online Time Magazine. Publication October 3, 2014. http://time.com/3453429/ebola-healthcare-workers-fatality-rate/. Accessed February 16, 2015.
6 Burkle FM. Operationalizing public health skills to resource poor settings: is this the Achilles heel in the Ebola epidemic campaign? Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2015;9(1):44-46. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2014.95. Epub 2014 Oct 7.
7 Johnson K, Idzerda L, Baras R, et al. Competency-based standardized training for humanitarian providers: making humanitarian assistance a professional discipline. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2013;7(4):369-372.
8 Burkle FM, Walls AE, Heck JP, et al. Academic affiliated training centers in humanitarian health, Part I: program characteristics and professionalization preferences of centers in North America. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2013;28(2):155-162.
9 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Interim U.S. Guidance for Monitoring and Movement of Persons with Potential Ebola Virus Exposure. Atlanta, GA: CDC; 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/exposure/monitoring-and-movement-of-persons-with-exposure.html. Accessed December 27, 2014.
10 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Advice for Humanitarian Aid Workers. Atlanta, GA: CDC; 2014. http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/humanitarian-workers-ebola. Accessed December 27, 2014.
11 Wildes R, Kayden S, Goralnick E, et al. Sign me up: rules of the road for humanitarian volunteers during the Ebola outbreak. Disaster Med Public Health Prep. 2015;9(1):88-89. doi: 10.1017/dmp.2014.110. Epub 2014 Oct 24.
12 Rosenbaum L. License to serve – U.S. trainees and the Ebola epidemic. N Engl J Med. 2015;372(6):504-506. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1415192. Epub 2014 Dec 17.
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Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
  • ISSN: 1935-7893
  • EISSN: 1938-744X
  • URL: /core/journals/disaster-medicine-and-public-health-preparedness
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