Masters student presents Ebola study to Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine

News article 17 Nov 2016
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Rie Takahashi discussing her poster with delegates

Rie, who graduated this year from the MSc in Humanitarian Studies at LSTM, recently presented findings from her dissertation at the 57th Annual Japanese Society of Tropical Medicine conference in Tokyo. 

Rie’s study followed on from completed research by CMNH on the availability and uptake of emergency obstetric care services during the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone and her supervisor was Susan Jones from the CMNH.

LSTM offer the unique opportunity for all MSc students to live and undertake research in a low and middle income country for eight weeks during their studies each year. Rie used qualitative methodology to conduct 20 semi-structured interviews with healthcare providers to explore factors that influenced them to continue to provide maternal and newborn care during the Ebola epidemic, despite the high risks to their own health.

The study found that despite the high levels of anxiety and fear amongst healthcare providers, they felt obliged to stay in their posts to help the sick and as a duty to their country. Support from colleagues, financial incentives and religious belief also contributed to health care workers remaining in their posts.

Susan Jones, (Senior Research Associate from CMNH who supervised Rie during her dissertation), said “Rie was a dedicated and hardworking student who it was a pleasure to supervise. The findings and recommendations from her study will continue to inform the post Ebola recovery agenda, in particular the support needed by health care workers to continue to safely provide care during humanitarian crises.