IsraAID’s “Ebola Heroes” program aims to provide psycho-social training to service providers (health workers, teachers, burial teams, policemen, social workers, local and international non governmental aid agencies) so they can continue the treatment of cases, all while tackling the devastating effects of fear, trauma, extreme stress, burnout, and stigma that are tearing communities apart . Our program aims at helping to build bridges of trust between healthcare workers and communities, so that together we can contain the spread of Ebola together.


Meet Alimamy

22, Ebola Response 117 Operator

The most difficult part of my work is hearing the voices of children helpless over the phone. I feel so sorry for them and I continue to think about them long after call.

I dream of a better and prosperous Sierra Leone. Once we are Ebola free my colleagues and I could get back to school. Now I feel determined more than ever to contribute to the development of our country.




The Ebola crisis in West Africa has had massive and devastating effects on the entire region. The efforts of local governments and aid organizations to contain the outbreak have yet to be successful as the disease continues to spread. International agencies such as WHO, MSF, IMC, UNICEF, CDC and USAID are leading the medical efforts on the ground, focusing on providing assistance in the affected regions, as well as conducting health awareness campaigns aimed at preventing massive infection of the general population. Additionally, the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak has also caused widespread stress and trauma in the affected countries, where families of infected patients have been completely isolated by their communities, with some areas even resorting to violence. The crisis is compounded by the realities of the affected countries, which have recently emerged from long periods of conflict and instability, and have weak health system structures and social protection networks, and on top poor and infrastructural resources.

Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) impacts not only those who are directly affected, but their families and communities, and those working in the healthcare setting supporting the EVD emergency response. Those associated with EVD can be vulnerable to social stigma, worsening their distress and isolation.

In addition, rumors, denial and myths surrounding Ebola continue to hinder the delivery of prevention and mitigation measures, as does a continued absence and refusal by burnt out and overwhelmed health workers to work in the already insufficient number of isolation wards and Ebola treatment centers. UNICEF has alerted that the impact of the epidemic on children continues to grow as health services for children have been severely disrupted and schools have closed.

As a result of the aforementioned challenges, local authorities are completely overwhelmed and are not able to offer stress management or Mental Health and Psycho-Social Support (MHPSS) for affected communities, nor provide grief care for the victims’ families.


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