“Borders are beginning to be non-existent”: A profile of Fogarty Fellow Dr. Gilberte Bastien
Nina Martin | Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health
The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa devastated Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia: over 11,000 deaths were reported and over 28,000 total cases suspected or confirmed. Although the peak of the outbreak has passed, new cases continue to be confirmed, and the threat of another outbreak is ever present. Amidst this, life continues, and one question we need to ask is: what happens to those left behind?
The March/ April issue of the Fogarty newsletter interviewed Dr. Gilberte Bastien, a Fogarty Fellow partnered with University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and Morehouse School of Medicine, who is researching the mental health impacts of the Ebola outbreak on survivors and healthcare workers. Through her interviews, Dr. Bastien is working to understand what psychological burdens have been left by the outbreak - including stigma from having the disease and the trauma of losing family members - and what interventions can support recovery and resilience for individuals and communities.
At Johns Hopkins University, several individuals and groups are also engaging in understanding the ebola outbreak and its impacts on health and wellbeing. Some of the broad scope of work includes:
- Dr. Caitlin Kennedy and others published in 2016 findings on the emotional impact of the outbreak on healthcare workers.
- The Berman Institute for Bioethics in 2015 published a report on the revised code of nursing ethics that addressed the issues raised by Ebola and humanitarian crises.
- The Center for Humanitarian Health, including faculty Judy Bass and Wietse Tol, is dedicated to understanding and supporting interventions for mental health that can be incorporated into post-disaster and humanitarian conflict settings.
The Fogarty International Center is dedicated to building US and international partnerships to advance global health, and is currently at risk for elimination under the "skinny" budget proposed by the Trump Administration in February 2017. In March, over 120 organizations signed a letter to the leaders of Congress urging them to continue support of Fogarty and National Institutes of Health.