Volume 2, Issue 4 (Summer 2017)                   HDQ 2017, 2(4): 217-225 | Back to browse issues page


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Amanat N, Hosseini S H, Khankeh H R, Aminizadeh M, Nakhaee M, Farzinnia B. Health Services Vulnerability During the Ebola Outbreak: A Qualitative Report. HDQ. 2017; 2 (4) :217-225
URL: http://hdq.uswr.ac.ir/article-1-151-en.html

1- Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Health, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
2- Research Center in Emergency and Disaster Health, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran. , hossein.hosseini389@gmail.com
3- Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Birjand University of Medical Sciences, Birjand, Iran.
Abstract:   (263 Views)
Ebola is an infectious disease, which is caused by a virus belonging to the Filoviridae group. The outbreak of the disease in the African countries in 2015 caused massive death and contamination of the healthcare personnel those who were engaged in treating the infected patients and caused irreparable damage to the healthcare system. In this study, the vulnerability of the team of health service providers during the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone is studied. The article also proposes solutions that can be learned as a lesson, help in increasing their resilience in similar biological hazards and planning management strategies for similar events in the future. Long before the outbreak took place, West African countries were already facing acute problems in terms of access to health services and health infrastructure. The most important shortcomings for the same were identified as insufficient number of health personnel and capacity shortage that prevented the people from being ready to deal with such uncalled events viz. accidents and epidemic disease outbreak. The Ebola epidemic exacerbated the persisting problems caused due to a shortage of personnel in these countries and caused the death of a large number of common people as well as healthcare personnel. Generally, the vulnerability of the health team working during the Ebola outbreak could be divided into five general dimensions: 1. Management weakness; 2. Lack of engineering and environmental control; 3. Obstacles in the use of personal protective equipment; 4. Not having enough skills and practice exercises; and 5. Ignoring the social factors and satisfaction of the healthcare personnel. The main theme of the study was failure to understand the risk of personnel in accidents and disasters. Findings revealed building capacity and reducing vulnerability of the healthcare personnel against disasters and epidemics depends upon the perceived risk, which is a decisive factor for any intervention. Maintenance of human resources is impossible unless with the sole aim of promoting resilience in various areas of management, health, environmental control, the proper use of personal protective equipment, teaching training, skill upgrading of personnel, and increased social and material support are achieved.
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Type of Study: Case Report | Subject: Special
Received: 2017/01/12 | Accepted: 2017/04/28 | Published: 2017/07/1

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