This brief summarises key socio-cultural considerations concerning health beliefs and health-seeking behaviour in the context of the outbreak of Ebola in Équateur Province, the DRC, June 2018. Further participatory enquiry should be undertaken, but given ongoing transmission, conveying key considerations and immediate recommendations related to community engagement have been prioritised.
This brief is based on a rapid review of existing published and grey literature, experience of previous Ebola outbreaks in the DRC, Uganda and West Africa, informal discussions with colleagues from UNICEF, WHO, IFRC and GOARN Social Science Group, and input by expert advisers from the CNRS-MNHN-Musée de l’Homme Paris, Institut Pasteur, University of Edinburgh, Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, Réseau Anthropologie des Epidémies Émergentes, Social Science Research Council, University of Florida, Institute of Development Studies, Anthrologica and others. Particular thanks are extended to Tatiana Carayannis, Lys Alcayna-Stevens, Jean-Benoît Falisse, Romain Duda and Alain Epelboin, and to Santiago Ripolli, Theresa Jones and Ingrid Gercama. Responsibility for this brief lies with the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform.