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The Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia: Improving Community Awareness for Disease Surveillance

At the time of the 2014–2015 Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, Liberia was still recovering from years of civil war and unrest. The country’s infrastructure was very poor, especially in rural regions, where people could not easily travel because of the lack of adequate roads. Liberia’s health system was also weakened by the civil war, leaving health facilities struggling to respond to the EVD outbreak […]

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World Health Organization Weekly Epidemiological Record: Special Edition on Ebola

Although social scientists have long worked in public health emergencies, the value of including social science intelligence in response strategies became highly visible during the epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa in 2014–2016. The key application of social science is to contextualise the response, which should be done in 2 ways. First, by understanding important features of the […]

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Risk Communication and Community Engagement (‎RCCE)‎ Considerations: Ebola Response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

This document was developed by the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Programme as a resource for the response to the Ebola Virus Disease (Ebola) outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in May 2018. It is intended to be used to guide risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) work which is central to stopping […]

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The One Health Approach to Identify Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices that Affect Community Involvement in the Control of Rift Valley Fever Outbreaks

Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a viral mosquito-borne disease with the potential for global expansion, causes hemorrhagic fever, and has a high case fatality rate in young animals and in humans. Using a cross-sectional community-based study design, we investigated the knowledge, attitudes and practices of people living in small village in Sudan with respect to […]

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Local Engagement in Ebola Outbreaks and Beyond in Sierra Leone

Containment strategies for Ebola rupture fundamental features of social, political and religious life. Control efforts that involve local people and appreciate their perspectives, social structures and institutions are therefore vital. Unfortunately such approaches have not been widespread in West Africa where response strategies have been predominantly top-down. Authoritarian tactics have had questionable effect, potentially worsening […]

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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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Comparison of Social Resistance to Ebola Response in Sierra Leone and Guinea Suggests Explanations Lie in Political Configurations not Culture

Sierra Leone and Guinea share broadly similar cultural worlds, straddling the societies of the Upper Guinea Coast with Islamic West Africa. There was, however, a notable difference in their reactions to the Ebola epidemic. As the epidemic spread in Guinea, acts of violent or everyday resistance to outbreak. Reducing spread repeatedly followed, undermining public health […]

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Engaging ‘Communities’: Anthropological Insights from the West African Ebola Epidemic

The recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa highlights how engaging with the sociocultural dimensions of epidemics is critical to mounting an effective outbreak response. Community engagement was pivotal to ending the epidemic and will be to post-Ebola recovery, health system strengthening and future epidemic preparedness and response. Extensive literatures in the social sciences have emphasized […]

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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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