ELRHA Research is Learning Opportunity for Students

John Paul at Makeni University

We are in Sierra Leone building evidence on the benefits of Psychological First Aid during humanitarian crises. During the recent Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone and Liberia community workers and health professionals delivered Psychological First Aid to family members, Ebola survivors and health care workers.

Meet John Paul, a first year public health student at the University of Makeni. John is one of 15 students and alumni involved in the data collection of our randomized control study. The national health crisis made him aware of the impact of preventive measures. He decided to study Public Health to prevent and assist should there ever be such an epidemic again. John Paul’s goal is to become District Medical Officer.

The Ebola crisis has left deep scars for the people of Sierra Leone. War Trauma Foundation is conducting research on the value of Psychological First Aid during the crisis. This mental health support was delivered by first line community and health workers and has supported tens of thousands all over the country.

Mohammed has lost his father and his young sister to Ebola. His mother has a hard time as a single parent. Mohammed works at the canteen of our research partner, the University of Makeni, to save money to become a Public Health student himself next year.