Factors Contributing to Health Workforce Resilience During the 2014-2015 Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone
Wabomba, S. (2016) Factors Contributing to Health Workforce Resilience During the 2014-2015 Ebola Outbreak in Sierra Leone, no. 44.
Resilience is an essential characteristic in overcoming adversity (Dyer and McGuinness 1996). An abstract term prevalent in academic literature, the concept of resilience has become more prominent within development assistance and humanitarian support in vulnerable nations. Defined as the ability to bounce back or recover from adversity, resilience is understood as the characteristics, processes and interactions contributing to overcoming adversity. Within health systems resilience is characterized as a sequence of complex interactions between health system components greatly influenced by social capital and cultural context (Ager et. al 2015). As a health system component, the health workforce often has to overcome several challenges in order to provide adequate health services in resource poor settings. It is for this reason resilience has been used as a construct in understanding the basis for health service delivery during adversity (Ager et.al 2015). One such example is service provision during the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Being a post conflict country Sierra Leone faced major health worker shortages, poor infrastructure and insufficient supply of protective equipment amidst several other challenges during the Ebola outbreak (MoHS 2015). The ability of the health workforce to not only manage but also recover from the crisis proved challenging requiring assistance from the international community. This dissertation looks at factors which contributed to the health workforce exhibiting resilience and the impact of the international community in maintaining service provision during the outbreak.