Uganda suffered four Ebola and five Marburg virus outbreaks from 2000 to 2012 with significant health worker mortality. This paper describes findings from 41 interviews with health workers from three outbreaks. Interviewees frequently encountered stigma from their communities, sometimes accompanied by mistrust and violence. These difficulties were defined as ‘challenges of society.’ Health workers also suffered emotional trauma, depressive symptoms, and fear classified as ‘challenges of psyche.’ As the incidence of such outbreaks will likely increase due to ecological and economic trends, health workers require greater access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and knowledge of viral containment. Such improvements would create an optimal psychosocial climate for managing infectious patients ultimately decreasing the severity of future outbreaks.
- Ebola virus
- Marburg virus
- health worker
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health