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Responses and Coping of Foreign Peace Keepers Working in Liberia to Threat of Ebola during the 2014 Outbreak

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DOI: 10.4236/psych.2015.610127    2,017 Downloads   2,277 Views  

ABSTRACT

The Ebola virus poses two inter-linked threats—the disease itself and fear of the disease. In Liberia, where over 4500 people have died from Ebola, a UN peacekeeping mission is currently operational (UNMIL). The study was conducted among 240 UN peace keepers of 9 different countries working in Liberia. The study period was from July 2014 to December 2014. The level of anxiety of the subjects were assessed in Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Reactions towards Ebola were mixed. There was a degree of fear but the level of anxiety was not so predominant. The reasons for panic were—no known cure, a perceived fear of discrimination and stigmatization, a fear that upon death one’s body will not be taken back home, there may not be proper burial or even cremation, contrary to custom. Among the study population, 55% think of themselves as being at greater risk than their colleagues, 19% wants to leave the UN mission area. The mean level of Anxiety was 10.87 ± 6.93 in HAD scale where as mean level of Depression was 3.98 ± 4.14. Psychological support is a key priority in the response to this relatively unknown and poorly understood yet lethal disease.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Das, K. and Gardezi, A. (2015) Responses and Coping of Foreign Peace Keepers Working in Liberia to Threat of Ebola during the 2014 Outbreak. Psychology, 6, 1305-1310. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.610127.

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