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The First Mile: Community Experience of Outbreak Control during an Ebola Outbreak in Luwero District, Uganda

A major challenge to outbreak control lies in early detection of viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) in local community contexts during the critical initial stages of an epidemic, when risk of spreading is its highest (“the first mile”). In this paper we document how a major Ebola outbreak control effort in central Uganda in 2012 was […]

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Evidence-Based Engagement of the Somali Pastoralists of the Horn of Africa in Polio Immunization: Overview of Tracking, Cross-Border, Operations, and Communication Strategies

Building on the experience of the 2013-2014 wild poliovirus outbreak in the Horn of Africa, this study examines applied strategies that helped to engage pastoralists of the Somali cluster (Somalia, Somali Region of Ethiopia, and North-East Kenya) in supplementary immunization activities. Aimed at being applicable to other public health interventions, the study synthesizes knowledge about Somali pastoralism in […]

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Perceptions of Oral Cholera Vaccine and Reasons for Full, Partial and Non-Acceptance during a Humanitarian Crisis in South Sudan

Oral Cholera vaccination (OCV) campaigns were conducted from February to April 2014 among internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the midst of a humanitarian crisis in Juba, South Sudan. IDPs were predominantly members of the Nuer ethnic group who had taken refuge in United Nations bases following the eruption of violence in December 2013. The OCV […]

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Camel Milk, Amoxicillin, and a Prayer: Medical Pluralism and Medical Humanitarian Aid in the Somali Region of Ethiopia

This paper details how exposure to new clinics, diagnostic technologies, and pharmaceuticals during humanitarian relief operations in the Somali Region of Ethiopia shaped local pluralistic health systems and altered the ways in which residents subsequently conceived of and treated illness and disease. Despite rising demand for pharmaceuticals and diagnostic technologies among Somalis in Ethiopia, local […]

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Comparing Sociocultural Features of Cholera in Three Endemic African Settings

Cholera mainly affects developing countries where safe water supply and sanitation infrastructure are often rudimentary. Sub-Saharan Africa is a Cholera hotspot. Effective Cholera control requires not only a professional assessment, but also consideration of community-based priorities. The present work compares local sociocultural features of endemic Cholera in urban and rural sites from three field studies […]

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Cholera Outbreaks in Malawi in 1998-2012: Social and Cultural Challenges in Prevention and Control

Cholera still remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in developing countries, although comprehensive surveillance data to inform policy and strategies are scarce.  A desk review of the national Cholera database and zonal and districts reports was conducted. Interviews were conducted with district health management teams, health workers, and participants in communities in six […]

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Distinguishing Social and Cultural Features of Cholera in Urban and Rural Areas of Western Kenya: Implications for Public Health

Urban and rural areas have distinctive health problems, which require consideration. To examine sociocultural features of Cholera and its community context, a semi-structured explanatory model interview based on vignettes depicting typical clinical features of Cholera was used to interview 379 urban and rural respondents in Western Kenya. Findings included common and distinctive urban and rural […]

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Improving Community Coverage of Oral Cholera Mass Vaccination Campaigns: Lessons Learned in Zanzibar

Recent research in two Cholera-endemic communities of Zanzibar has shown that a majority (94%) of the adult population was willing to receive free oral Cholera vaccines (OCVs). Since OCV uptake in the 2009 campaign reached only 50% in these communities, an evaluation of social and cultural factors and of barriers was conducted to understand this […]

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Infection Control During Filoviral Hemorrhagic Fever Outbreaks: Preferences of Community Members and Health Workers in Masindi, Uganda

Interviews were conducted with health workers and community members in Masindi, Uganda on improving the acceptability of infection control measures used during an Ebola outbreak. Measures that promote cultural sensitivity and transparency of control activities were preferred and should be employed in future control efforts. We suggest assessing the practicality of body bags with viewing […]

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