Questions for "Mawah: When Ebola Came to Our Village"
- What in Liberia's history helped lead to its weak healthcare system? How specifically did the functionality of this system impact the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia? How do you think the U.S. healthcare system would handle an epidemic of this magnitude?
- Read the following excerpt from the interactive. Discuss the impact and importance of traditional healers in communities like Liberia's villages. What is their place in society? Why? How do you feel about it?
"People here believe in witchcraft and black magic. Traditional healers are consulted when there are no explainable reasons for an illness. They use traditional remedies to treat conventional diseases, set bones and provide spiritual care for their patients. Whether a person goes to a healer or a doctor partly depends on where they live. Two thirds of the population live more than an hour’s walk from the nearest health care unit. Healers often fill the gap."
- Watch this short video, linked within the interactive. Why and how did Ebola spread in West Africa? What can we do to stop an outbreak like this next time it happens?
- Watch this video clip from the interactive. Think about how radio messages spread the word about Ebola in West Africa. Was it an effective tactic? Why or why not? How would health departments in the U.S. get the word out if we were in a similar situation?
- Don't do any research before answering this question: How is Ebola transmitted from person to person? Now, find the answer in the reporting. Were you correct in how you thought the disease spread? Discuss how different levels of understanding on this matter could lead to problems.
- Discuss the far-reaching impacts of Ebola on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone's community structures, economies, tourism industries, education and health systems. What problems will these countries have as the aftermath of the outbreak drags on?
- Discuss the psychological impact of Ebola on both individuals and communities.
"More than a year and a half after the start of the largest Ebola outbreak in history, the damage wrought by the epidemic in west Africa continues to extend far beyond lives lost," wrote Pulitzer Center Project Coordinator Akela Lacy in an October 2015 blog post. "The outbreak infected more than 28,000 people and took more than 11,000 lives. The global response to the Ebola outbreak was slow, and the health systems in affected countries like Sierra Leone and Liberia were hard-pressed to accommodate a public health emergency of such proportions."
In this lesson, we'll explore Carl Gierstorfer's "Meet the Journalist" video and the interactive linked under "resources" and answer the questions at right.
Credits: Interactive by Mareike Mueller and Laura Salm-Reifferscheidt. Idea and camera by Gierstorfer. A production of DOCDAYS Productions.
In this lesson, we'll use a multimedia interactive created by our grantee filmmaker Carl Gierstorfer and his colleague Antje Boehmert to learn about the beginnings of the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the people who worked to slow the epidemic, and the aftermath the disease has wrought upon the region.