Psychosocial impacts of COVID-19 on Australia-based West Africans who survived Ebola epidemic

Sulaiman Mandoh, Rachel Rossiter, Phillip Bwititi, Uba Ezekiel Nwose

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The global COVID-19 pandemic resulted in widespread psychosocial impacts requiring public health management. Extensive research has investigated these impacts. For communities who survived the West African Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic, COVID-19 had potential to heighten the psychosocial impacts experienced. This study investigated COVID-19 psychosocial impacts and coping strategies of West African migrant survivors of the 2014-2016 EVD epidemic now living in Victoria.
A sequential mixed method approach incorporated an online questionnaire with the option to then participate in a semi-structured interview. Quantitative data was subjected to descriptive frequency analysis. Thematic analysis was utilised to identify key themes in participants’ descriptions of their experiences, coping strategies, and social support during both EVD and COVID-19.
Of 36 survey respondents, nine participated in semi-structured interviews. 52% of survey respondents were female with ages ranges 18-40years old constituting vast majority.
Of the 36 respondents, 22% had survived EVD infection and 15% had been infected with COVID-19. 69% had a family member/s who had survived EVD, 71% had family who had survived COVID-19. 51.5% had relatives who died of EVD, in contrast to 26.5% who had a family member die of COVID.
Participants reported fear, lack of support and stress during and after the EVD. While the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in similar experiences, having survived EVD, the participants reported using positive coping strategies, in combination with government support measures. Overall, they reported improvement in life satisfaction living here in Australia.
This study of West African migrant survivors of the EVD epidemic now living in Australia provides epidemiological information on coping strategies to ensure healthy lives utilised by members of the Australian-African population. Although, living in Australia is no immunity to COVID-19 infection and the associated psychosocial impacts, the support offered by the Australian government provided an appreciated coping strategy. Lessons from previous experiences and improved quality of life enabled the use of positive coping strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2023
EventAustralasian Epidemiological Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2023 - The Pullman on Park , Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 18 Oct 202320 Oct 2023 (Abstract book)


ConferenceAustralasian Epidemiological Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2023
Abbreviated titleHow epidemiology can ensure healthy lives for all
OtherThe AEA 2023 Annual Scientific Meeting will provide a platform for sharing evidence and findings in epidemiology, as well as sharing ideas and making recommendations for the way forward. The meeting will have high quality national and international experts presenting various aspects of epidemiology.

The Australasian Epidemiological Association (AEA) Scientific Meeting 2023 will be held from Wednesday 18 to Friday 20 October at the Pullman on the Park, Wellington Parade, Melbourne.
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