The Aftermath of Ebola

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The transmission of Ebola from the big outbreak which affected more than 28,000 people in West Africa is over. However there is plenty of long-term impact felt in each of the three countries, from economic impact, to schools closing, to medical schools closing for an extended period of time. In Liberia, for example, before the outbreak they only had 50 doctors. And then for one or two years there’s been no doctors who’ve graduated and some doctors died during the outbreak. Clinics have shut down. Routine health care had shut down.
So HIV testing, TB program, routine immunization for children, all of this was compromised.

Now in Monrovia, Liberia, we’re seeing measles cases, just because there wasn’t routine vaccination during the outbreak. We’re also seeing the psychological impact on the population and on communities. We’re seeing PTSD and depression.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was one of the biggest actors in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in all three countries. We treated more than 5,000 patients, half of which survived. It was quite a difficult time, and something we had never seen before, so at MSF we also learned quite a lot. Now what we’re doing is we’re trying to create a new guideline for hemorrhagic fever for both us, as MSF in the future, and also for other actors. They can use and we can learn from these lessons. We’re also working to help find a vaccine. We’ve been running survivor clinics, one in every country, because we were seeing that Ebola survivors have symptoms that continue after they’re cured. Namely, eye problems, generalized body pain, joint pain, aches s and pains, as well as psychological problems. These clinics will end by the end of 2016 and the survivors will be re-integrated into the normal healthcare system.

Find out more about MSF’s work in This is MSF: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uoq2EG3BpS4

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