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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)...

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)

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:
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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.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

6 FM Burkle . 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.

11 R Wildes , S Kayden , E Goralnick , 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 L Rosenbaum . 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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