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Social Science in Epidemics: Influenza and SARS Lessons Learned

This report is the third instalment of the ‘Social Science in Epidemics’ series, commissioned by the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Direct Assistance (OFDA). In this series, past outbreaks are reviewed in order to identify social science ‘entry points’ for emergency interventions and preparedness activities. The aim is to determine tangible ways to address the […]

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Ebola Preparedness and Traditional Healers in South Sudan

This review focuses on the evidence on Ebola preparedness in South Sudan through an anthropological lens, looking at informal and traditional health care systems. It presents the evidence on how these can be utilised for surveillance, behaviour change communication, and vaccinations in the case of an Ebola outbreak, including: establishing surveillance of these services and […]

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Cultural Practices on Burial and Care for the Sick in South Sudan

Literature on cultural practices for burial and care for the sick among individual ethnic groups in South Sudan was very limited. However, it clearly points to the importance of proper burials among all ethnic groups: these typically entail washing the body of the deceased; it can take several days before burial takes place; and graves […]

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Key Considerations: the Context of North Kivu Province, DRC

This brief summarises key considerations about the context of North Kivu province in relation to the outbreak of Ebola in the DRC, August 2018. The province of North Kivu has six territories: Beni, Lubero, Masisi, Nyiragongo, Rutshuru, Walikale. At the time of writing, cases of Ebola had been positively confirmed in Beni territory, and cases […]

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Key Considerations: Burial, Funeral and Mourning Practices in Équateur Province, DRC

This brief summarises key socio-cultural considerations concerning events related to death, burial, funerals (rites or ceremonies), and mourning in the context of the outbreak of Ebola in the DRC, June 2018. Further participatory inquiry should be undertaken, but given ongoing transmission, conveying key considerations and immediate recommendations for safe and dignified burial practices and related […]

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Culture and Health

Planned and unplanned migrations, diverse social practices, and emerging disease vectors transform how health and wellbeing are understood and negotiated. Simultaneously, familiar illnesses-both communicable and non-communicable-continue to affect individual health and household, community, and state economies. Together, these forces shape medical knowledge and how it is understood, how it comes to be valued, and when […]

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