Helping the Helpers

A study of health care workers who responded to the West African Ebola outbreak suggests that better volunteer preparedness, oversight and follow-up support could improve future response efforts.

In semi-structured interviews with 16 US volunteers, most described feeling a moral obligation to help. They also reported inadequate training and preparation—cultural, psychological and otherwise—prior to deployment, confused management during the crisis, and isolation and stigmatization after returning home.

The study authors call for emergency-response policies and practices that truly protect the health and wellbeing of volunteers.
PLoS Currents

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