Monitoring and managing mental health in the wake of Ebola



Infectious disease continues to have dramatic effects on morbidity and mortality around the world. Few events could cause such loss of life and damage to livelihoods. As witnessed with the recent West African Ebola outbreak, raising alerts and identifying the outbreak in the community took too long. As a consequence local health systems were quickly overwhelmed. In addition, response at the international level proved slow and poorly coordinated. Rapid diagnostics, effective therapeutics, protective equipment, and a vaccine were all lacking. The crisis was however ultimately halted, thanks to a massive deployment of international resources in combination with the bravery and compassion of the medical staff, scientists, healthcare and aid workers on the ground. Despite this triumph, the lingering psychological sequalae of Ebola remain a significant public health challenge. The importance of mental health service delivery and policy implementation in addition to public health funding resources will prove integral in tackling this issue in the long run. With this in mind, adopting a political ecology approach towards health and disease will be crucial in order to depathologize the clinically significant mental distress related to Ebola.

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Byron Kiiza Yafesi Bitanihirwe

How to Cite
Bitanihirwe, B. K. Y. (2016). Monitoring and managing mental health in the wake of Ebola. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 52(3), 320–322. Retrieved from
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