"I Felt Safe in the Ebola Hot Zone"
The numbers of people affected by the virus in Africa are staggering more than fourteen thousand infected and more than five thousand dead. So far, those of us who live and work in North America are mainly suffering from paranoia about a virus that has infected just a handful of health care workers outside of Africa.
This week on White Coat, Black Art, we talk to three Canadian doctors who answered the call to help fight the invisible enemy, and we also ask who helps them when they return?
Dr. Brian Goldman talks to Tim Jagatic, a young Ontario doctor who went to med school in Croatia because the school had a rep for cranking out top flight international aid workers. In 2013,Jagatic worked for Doctors Without Borders in South Sudan. Then he decided he wanted to help with the Ebola crisis. So far this year, he's treated patients in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Laura Lee Morris is a veteran MD from Ontario who in mid-career left a comfortable GP practice to follow a similar path. In September, she battled Ebola in Sierra Leone where she was part of the Canadian Red Cross team that set up an Ebola Treatment Centre.
Dr Nyassa Navidzadeh talks about her experience tending to the emotional needs of Ebola patients. Dr. Navidzadeh is a psychiatrist at Notre Dame Hospital in Montreal. She was in Liberia earlier this year to help set up a mental health treatment program for patients and their families. It was a job every bit as challenging as that faced by doctors tasked with the virus' physical manifestations. Brian talked to her about that experience, as well as the emotional strain faced by her physician colleagues as they work in Ebola hot zones. She and her colleagues also take care of doctors on the front lines by watching for signs of fatigue and burnout.