#4: Members of Doctors Without Borders Discuss the Aftermath of the Ebola Epidemic
Those who were affected by the Ebola virus during the 2014-2015 outbreak faced many difficult decisions aside from fighting off the deadly infection, according to members of Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) who recently conducted a webcast on their experience. Many of those infected with the virus were parents, and therefore they had to struggle with the risks of leaving their children at home while they traveled for care. In addition, those parents who had children that were ill had to leave their children in the care of healthcare workers that they did not know. Almost all individuals who were infected were required to brave the dangers of traveling through areas of ongoing military conflict to areas where care was available.
The representatives discussed the trials those infected lived through, as well as the lessons they learned as healthcare practitioners trying to treat a seriously ill population in the midst of active military conflict. In addition, they discussed the difficulties in effectively delivering education on Ebola virus prevention and treatment to those at risk, in different languages, while trying to maintain cultural traditions and be cognizant of societal norms.
In total, MSF evaluated more than 10,000 individuals for the Ebola virus and treated more than 5,000 who were infected. As a result of their efforts, more than half of these patients survived. Until the end of 2016, the MSF also continued to operate three survivor clinics in each of the most-affected countries, where surviviors gained assistance with lingering symptoms of infection such as vision problems or pain.
Because the threat of the virus continues to this day, MSF has been leading efforts to develop a vaccine and coordinating ongoing clinical trials. They acknowledged that these trials were slow-going at first and therefore, they encouraged the global health community to be better prepared in the future.
To continue reading more on the findings and efforts of the MSF during the Ebola outbreak, click here