Global Health Chronicles

Tamba Alpha

David J. Sencer CDC Museum, Global Health Chronicles


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00:00:00 - Introduction

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Partial Transcript: My name is Sam Robson and it is March 5th, I think, 2017.

Keywords: county surveillance officers (CSOs)

Subjects: Liberia

00:01:33 - Early life in Liberia and Guinea

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Partial Transcript: To go back in the past, could you tell me when and where you were born?

Keywords: nursing; physician assistants; refugees; reproductive health

Subjects: Guinea; International Rescue Committee; Liberia--History--Civil War, 1999-2003; Lofa County (Liberia)

00:04:42 - Starting work in Lofa County as Ebola hit Liberia

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Partial Transcript: There, we landed 2014, early 2014, January, I took an assignment in Lofa, my home county, and that was at the beginning of Ebola.

Keywords: border health; community engagement; community trust; county surveillance officers (CSOs); distrust; family; hand washing; health communications; infection prevention and control (IPC); messaging; nutrition; positionality; sisters; violence

Subjects: Lofa County (Liberia); Sierra Leone

00:11:17 - How Ebola developed in Liberia

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Partial Transcript: The cases in Sierra Leone--that is the second phase of Ebola--how it entered Liberia.

Keywords: border health; burials; chlorine; community trust; escape; funerals; household transmission; index cases; infection prevention and control (IPC); midwifery; personal protective equipment (PPE); pregnancy

Subjects: Sierra Leone

00:20:59 - An instance of violence/Summary of the first phase of Ebola in Liberia

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Partial Transcript: But before I came there, there was a day after the first lady died there, we buried.

Keywords: burials; community resistance; community trust; violence

00:25:26 - The second phase of Ebola in Lofa County/The Ebola response gets organized

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Partial Transcript: The second phase now, when it started, we decided to organize ourselves as a team.

Keywords: Ebola treatment units (ETUs); G. Dunor; J. Bolongie; MSF; Samaritan's Purse; architecture; coordination; county surveillance officers (CSOs); data management; day; design; drivers; limited resources; meetings; night; overcrowding; partners; pillars; recruitment; reporting; schedule; staffing; transportation

Subjects: Lofa County (Liberia); Medecins sans frontieres (Association)

00:38:12 - Adding more resources to the response/The response grows smarter

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Partial Transcript: There came a time, we said okay. We were doing work, but cases were increasing

Keywords: CDC; IFRC; ambulances; data management; databases; laboratories; lessons learned; partners; quarantine; reporting; testing

Subjects: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.); International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; World Food Programme

00:43:33 - A personal exposure to Ebola

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Partial Transcript: As I was saying earlier on, another was involving my very self.

Keywords: Ebola treatment units (ETUs); case investigation; casualties; danger; denial; drivers; exposures; family; health workers; patient transport; signs; symptoms; testing; vehicles

Subjects: United States. Army

00:50:06 - The importance of community engagement/Rebuilding trust after Ebola

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Partial Transcript: The first lesson we learned was the use of the community people.

Keywords: buy-in; community trust; grassroots; local authorities; trainings

00:53:46 - The importance of having health advocates within targeted communities

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Partial Transcript: Can you talk more about the impact of your originally being from the Foya area on your part in the response?

Keywords: buy-in; community engagement; community ownership; community trust; cultures; languages; local authorities; local knowledge; positionality

00:57:32 - Seeing friends, family, and coworkers dying from Ebola

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Partial Transcript: But I can imagine that being especially painful for you to see this awful epidemic happening in your own community.

Keywords: fear; trauma

00:59:38 - The origins of community distrust

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Partial Transcript: How do you explain the initial reluctance to believe that Ebola was real?

Keywords: conspiracy theories; denial; dynamics of transmission; immunizations; power; public health campaigns; rumors; the unknown; vaccinations; witchcraft

01:04:40 - Individuals who played important roles in the response/Evolving approach to burials

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned a couple of people who were vital to the response in Lofa.

Keywords: C.L.P. Lasuba; D. Jayguwoyein; M. Sesay; WHO; advocacy; burials; buy-in; colleagues; community ownership; community trust; coworkers; creativity; danger; dead body management; decontamination; laboratory work; leadership; personal protective equipment (PPE); risk; teamwork; tools; trainings

Subjects: G. Dunor; J. Bolongie; World Health Organization

01:16:07 - Classifying potential Ebola cases/Transporting patients to treatment units

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Partial Transcript: I had one question, and that was you mentioned that when you came with an ambulance to a community and you had to take people, and there were some sick and there were some dying

Keywords: Ebola treatment units (ETUs); MSF; infrastructure; organization; patient transport; patient triage; roads

Subjects: Medecins sans frontieres (Association)

01:24:25 - Working alongside MSF as a government employee

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Partial Transcript: Can you give me an example of an instance where MSF’s distaste for working together with the government affected the response?

Keywords: M. Fallah; communication; cooperation; data management; data sharing; information management; mistakes; partners; patient identities

01:30:20 - Working alongside CDC

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Partial Transcript: You know what would be really helpful

Keywords: CDC; Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA); M. Fallah; USAID; case investigation; contact tracing; credit; data management; federalism; funding; information management; local; money; national; ownership; surveillance; trainings

Subjects: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.); United States. Agency for International Development

01:38:45 - The fear of thinking you may have Ebola

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Partial Transcript: You had mentioned that there were two moments that really touched you.

Keywords: fear; stress; terror; transportation; trauma

01:41:18 - Liberia's capacity to document its history, and to respond to future outbreaks

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Partial Transcript: Alpha, is there anything that I have not asked about, any memories that you have that you would like to share before we finish the interview?

Keywords: Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA); foresight; lessons learned; surveillance