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'Ebola Outbreak' documentary subject of panel discussion

Staff reports | MUSC News Center | September 22, 2014



Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola HF) is one of numerous viral hemorrhagic fevers. It is a severe, often fatal disease in humans and nonhuman primates, such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees. 

MUSC Center for Global Health will screen PBS Frontline documentary, "Ebola Outbreak," and host a panel discussion to highlight the struggles containing and managing the Ebola crisis in West Africa Sept. 25, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Drug Discovery Building auditorium at 110 President Street.                               

Michael Sweat, Ph.D., center director, said the Ebola epidemic unfolding in West Africa has rapidly overtaken the capacity of already weak local health systems there to control its spread and care for the sick.

“This is developing into a major humanitarian crisis, and with this special event we hope to help educate the MUSC community on the medical, psychosocial, and public health dimensions of the epidemic. My colleagues at MUSC are enormously interested in helping, and the discussion panel we have lined up has great insight into these issues based on its work in the region, including work on Ebola."

The death toll from Ebola virus disease is now around 2,500 and it may cost nearly $750 million over the next few months to slow the spread. More Americans are treating Ebola patients, and this number will increase as military personnel deploy to West Africa. Millions of dollars and personnel commitments from private and public sources from countries worldwide are going toward the fight to end the spread of Ebola.

The panelists will share their insights on issues ranging from infectious control challenges, the mental health challenges facing the community and health care workers as they battle the spreading disease and the challenges of communicating public health messages about the outbreak.  

Panelists include:

Gail Stuart, Ph.D. – dean and professor, College of Nursing, MUSC

Stuart developed a curriculum in partnership with The Carter Center’s Mental Health Program in Monrovia, Liberia (said to be ground zero of the Ebola crisis) and Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to improve access to mental health services.

John Vena, Ph.D. – professor and founding chairman, Department of Public Health Sciences, MUSC

Vena has research background in epidemiology, environmental health, and community-based research.

L.W. Preston Church, M.D. – associate professor of Infectious Disease, MUSC

Church is an infectious disease expert with experience working with many neglected tropical diseases across Africa.

Jeffery L. Deal, M.D. – director of health studies, Water Missions International

 Deal just returned from Liberia where he provided training to health workers and aid groups on disinfecting and sanitation measures to minimize spread of disease.



Related Stories >>

Ebola fast facts (CNN)

Fighting ebola for us all (The New York Times opinion piece)

The hunt for Ebola (Smithsonian)

Resources >>

MUSC Center for Global Health

Certificate Program in Global Health

Project Okurase

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