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University of Balamand > Academics > Faculties > Faculty Of Health Sciences > Quick Links > Sirar Jaroudy


SIRAR JAROUDY
PUBLIC HEALTH MISSION IN SIERRA LEONE

A personal reflection by Sirar Jaroudy, Public Health graduate 2010.
 
“When I first applied for the position of Psycho-social (PSS) Coordinator with International Medical Corps (IMC), it was to challenge myself in a new role, in a new crisis -the Ebola Outbreak- where everyone was running away from it. I wanted to make a stand and push forward towards it and be part of this life-changing public health outbreak.

This might possibly be the boldest decision of my career and life, realizing the high risk of transmission and mortality rate and between the media and the scary rumors, misconceptions and misinformation about the disease and how to prevent it from spreading. You can only imagine what the reaction of my family and friends was! My curiosity and determination as a public health professional and a mental health expert finally got the best of them and this is how the best experience of my life started.

My job as PSS Coordinator is to train and provide technical support to national staff and other national and international organizations in order to provide psycho-social support to patients in the Ebola Treatment Center (ETC) and their families and community members in their villages. Psycho-social support is essential to ensure the well‐being of the affected population, as well as that of everybody involved in the response, from expat staff, local staff and volunteers, who are working under highly stressful conditions. Even the smallest acts can make a big difference…

There are several challenges I could easily mention from this experience, from the constant fear of contracting the deadly virus, poor healthcare system in case you got ill, and the daily stressors of poor living conditions, the heat and constant hunger. What I found really difficult to comprehend was witnessing people die in front of my eyes, especially the children...

I feel very privileged that my undergraduate public health and development degree from the University of Balamand has prepared me to embark assertively in such challenges and positions, and be part of the international aid.”






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University of Balamand,
Balamand Al Kurah,
Lebanon

Tel:  +961-6-930250
Fax: +961-6-930278