Academic Medical Support to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak in Liberia

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Abstract

During the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic in West Africa (2014–2016), many faculty, staff, and trainees from U.S. academic medical centers (i.e., teaching hospitals and their affiliated medical schools; AMCs) wished to contribute to the response to the outbreak, but many barriers prevented their participation. Here, the authors describe a successful long-term academic collaboration in Liberia that facilitated participation in the EVD response. This Perspective outlines the role the authors played in the response (providing equipment and training, supporting the return of medical education), the barriers they faced (logistical and financial), and elements that contributed to their success (partnering and coordinating their response with both U.S. and African institutions). There is a paucity of literature discussing the role of AMCs in disaster response, so the authors discuss the lessons learned and offer suggestions about the responsibilities that AMCs have and the roles they can play in responding to disaster situations.

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