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Sign Me Up: Rules of the Road for Humanitarian Volunteers During the Ebola Outbreak

  • Ryan Wildes (a1), Stephanie Kayden (a2), Eric Goralnick (a3), Michelle Niescierenko (a4), Miriam Aschkenasy (a5), Katherine M. Kemen (a6), Michael Vanrooyen (a7), Paul Biddinger (a8) and Hilarie Cranmer (a5)...


The current Ebola outbreak is the worst global public health emergency of our generation, and our global health care community must and will rise to serve those affected. Aid organizations participating in the Ebola response must carefully plan to carry out their responsibility to ensure the health, safety, and security of their responders. At the same time, individual health care workers and their employers must evaluate the ability of an aid organization to protect its workers in the complex environment of this unheralded Ebola outbreak. We present a minimum set of operational standards developed by a consortium of Boston-based hospitals that a professional organization should have in place to ensure the health, safety, and security of its staff in response to the Ebola virus disease outbreak. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1-2)


Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Hilarie Cranmer, MD, MPH, Director of Global Disaster Response, Center for Global Health, Massachusetts General Hospital, 100 Cambridge St, 15th Floor, Boston, MA 02114 (E-mail:


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1.Gulland, A.More health staff are needed to contain Ebola outbreak, warns WHO. BMJ. 2014;349:g5485.
2.WHO: Ebola Response Roadmap Situation Report 3. 12 September 2014. Accessed September 12, 2014.
3. Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease). Information for Healthcare Workers. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention website; August 20, 2014. Accessed September 14, 2014.
4.Merchant, RM, Leigh, JE, Lurie, N.Health care volunteers and disaster response--first, be prepared. N Engl J Med. 2010;362(10):872-873.
5.Panosian, C.Courting danger while doing good--protecting global health workers from harm. N Engl J Med 2010;363(26):2484-2485.



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