Diaspora communications and Health seeking behaviour in the time of Ebola: findings from the Sierra Leonean community in London

The Sierra Leonean diaspora was active in responding to the Ebola outbreak that hit Sierra Leone in March 2014, both by providing financial and material support, and through direct communication with relatives, friends and colleagues back home. This paper looks at the role of diaspora communications on health seeking behaviour in Sierra Leone. It examines the range of communication strategies employed by members of the diaspora; the dynamics of communications as the epidemic spread during 2014/15, and the role of diaspora associations in liaising with local institutions within Sierra Leone. It argues that their communications played an important and often innovative part in the cumulative mobilisation of local communities during the outbreak, although they were also prone to some of the same weaknesses as local public health efforts.

Dr David Rubyan-Ling / 2015 / Ebola Response Anthropology Platform

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