Nearly half the population of Sierra Leone is under the age of 18 years and the impact of the Ebola crisis on their lives now and on their future opportunities has been far-reaching: no school; loss of family members and friends to the virus; and changing roles and responsibilities in the home and the community. While the priority now remains meeting the goal of zero cases, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) is also developing a comprehensive strategy aimed at supporting communities to recover from Continue reading →
We propose that the point of discharge of someone who has survived Ebola virus disease (EVD) should become a staged transition back into the community, linked to a social contract that ties targeted support to adherence to infection control practices. This offers important benefits to how people perceive the infectious risk of survivors, improved social cohesion through collectively agreed stages of re-integration, and a mechanism for directing psychosocial and material support to those who most need it.
‘Stigma’ is an umbrella term for the direct and indirect consequences of a number of processes that brand someone as different in ways that result in discrimination, loss of status and social exclusion. It can be short-term or evolve into a long-term and life-long issue. Who and how people are being socially labelled – plus the material, political, social and moral consequences of this labelling – often change rapidly throughout the course of an epidemic, particularly from the early stages of an emerging outbreak to Continue reading →
Survivors are rapidly becoming a strategic population for the Ebola Outbreak response. The public health potential of this group appear to be manifold—from safe burials and the care for orphan children to community outreach and the donation of blood for clinical trials. There are a number of stories emerging from the field of survivors who refuse to leave Ebola Treatment Units, offering their support in caring for new patients. Data regarding the status and experience of survivors is somewhat thin, although anthropological experience of the Continue reading →