Global Health Chronicles

Dr. Charles Alpren

David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Global Health Chronicles


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00:00:38 - Occupation and summary of Ebola response activities

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Partial Transcript: What is your current position in the world? What’s your current occupation?

Keywords: Ebola treatment units (ETUs); doctors; medicine

Subjects: Sierra Leone

00:01:38 - Early life

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Partial Transcript: Backing drastically up, can you tell me when and where you were born?

Keywords: education; parents; school; siblings; youth

Subjects: London (England)

00:03:26 - Medical education/Australia

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Partial Transcript: When did you know that you wanted to go to medical school?

Keywords: childbirth; clinicians; doctor-patient relationships; doctors; emergencies; general practice; medicine; mental illness; near-death; obstetrics; patients; pregnancy; psychiatry; training; travel; treatment; university

Subjects: Australia; Mudgee (N.S.W.); Sydney (N.S.W.)

00:13:09 - Medical practice in Melbourne/Pivot toward public health

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Partial Transcript: And then going into Melbourne, the thing that—Melbourne was a—the practice I had in Melbourne was many young families.

Keywords: Hampton; anthropology; communication; culture; doctor-patient relationships; master of public health (MPH); public health; vaccines

Subjects: MMR vaccine; Melbourne (Vic.)

00:18:05 - Going to Sierra Leone to Ebola patients with Aspen Medical

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Partial Transcript: I’m going to backtrack a little bit to the 18th of April, 2014, which for those paying attention from the first thing I said will know that was my fortieth birthday.

Keywords: Aspen Medical; Doctors without Borders; Ebola treatment units (ETUs); MSF; construction; personal protective equipment (PPE); private; training

Subjects: Canberra (A.C.T.); Médecins sans frontières (Association); Sierra Leone

00:25:45 - Training week with Médecins Sans Frontières Ebola treatment unit, Freetown

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Partial Transcript: That was middle of December, 2014.

Keywords: Christianity; Christmas; Doctors without Borders; Ebola treatment units (ETUs); MSF; beds; capacity; crowding; family; fear; fever; holiday; hydration; intravenous lines; isolation; needle stick; overcrowding; religion; risk; separation; singing; stigma; stigmatization

Subjects: Médecins sans frontières (Association)

00:37:27 - The intimacy of care in an Ebola treatment unit

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Partial Transcript: The one thing, the thing that I think I would want to—the message I would want to convey most of all

Keywords: Doctor-patient relationships; Princess; burial; cleaning; infection prevention and control (IPC); personal protective equipment (PPE); safety; touch

00:43:48 - Western expatriate vs. Sierra Leonean experiences of the Ebola epidemic

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Partial Transcript: I think the whole—the experience was very different for the Sierra Leoneans we were working with than it was for the expats

Keywords: collectivist; communal; cross-cultural; culture; employment; grief; grieving; hiring; individualist; jobs

00:50:11 - Confronting fear in the hot zone

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Partial Transcript: So you get there after about a week in MSF. How does your experience change over the course of your deployment?

Keywords: C. Deacon; Western Area Surge; decline; epi curve; epidemic curve

00:54:19 - Treating one patient, a woman with paralysis

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Partial Transcript: Do some of your relationships with patients stand out to you when you look back?

Keywords: MSF; celebration; discharge; doctor-patient relationships; hand print wall; paralysis; paralyzed; party; release; symptoms

Subjects: Médecins sans frontières (Association)

01:01:30 - Relationship with Sierra Leonean staff

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Partial Transcript: How about with staff? I know that you mentioned, was it Princess?

Keywords: colleagues; cross-cultural; culture; humor; joking; work environment

01:03:53 - The gap between doctor and patient perceptions of treatment

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Partial Transcript: It sounds like there’s a question about who things are for.

Keywords: Doctor-patient relationships; celebration; communication; culture; difference; discharge; global health security; hand print wall; humanity; names; power; trust

01:07:04 - Coming home to Australia

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Partial Transcript: We have just gone into detail about your experience with Aspen Medical in Freetown. How does that experience wrap up?

Keywords: 21 days; P. Cafferkey; fear; fever; guidance; hiding symptoms; isolation; monitoring; movement; quarantine; stigma; stigmatization; travel restrictions; twenty-one days

Subjects: Melbourne (Vic.)

01:13:04 - Initial thoughts of working for the World Health Organization or CDC

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Partial Transcript: I’m going to backtrack a little bit, and talk about one episode I had one evening in Sierra Leone sitting in the living room.

Keywords: application; apply; career; public health; transition

Subjects: World Health Organization

01:16:31 - Coordinating foreign medical teams and doing case management for WHO

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Partial Transcript: Much to my surprise, I got the job.

Keywords: Ebola treatment units (ETUs); GOAL; International Medical Corps (IMC); Ministry of Health and Sanitation; clinical care; cross-cultural; culture; diversity; hospitals; international; isolation; multinational; nationality; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); organizational culture; outsider; security; work environment

Subjects: International Medical Corps; United Nations; World Health Organization

01:31:54 - Work with CDC’s Sierra Leone office on survivor issues

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Partial Transcript: Finished my WHO job after four months, and didn’t extend my contract because I was exhausted.

Keywords: Creole; Krio; Project Shield; Virus Persistence Study (VSP); behavior change; communication; counseling; cross-cultural; culture; immune system; interpretation; language; messaging; science; semen; sequelae; sexual transmission; stigma; stigmatization; survivors; translation; viral persistence; virus persistence

Subjects: University of Melbourne

01:42:38 - Description of CDC colleagues

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Partial Transcript: Can you tell me about somebody you really got to know at CDC and your work with them?

Keywords: S. Bennett; infection prevention and control (IPC); work environment

01:46:05 - Future plans

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Partial Transcript: And so what are we—what’s your future?

Keywords: Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS)

Subjects: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.). Epidemic Intelligence Service