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 Continue reading →
The Community Led Ebola Action (CLEA) has empowered communities to do their own analysis and take their own action to become Ebola-free in Sierra Leone. CLEA has focused on triggering collective action by inspiring communities to understand the urgency and the steps they take to protect themselves from Ebola. Community Mobilisers have facilitated this process and communities have modified norms, beliefs and behaviours in response to the conditions around them. The CLEA Approach was used to trigger 9,285 communities in Sierra Leone as of April Continue reading →
This briefing explores how rumours about Ebola in Sierra Leone influences people’s perception and response to Ebola, from the political, historical and social perspectives. Despite the efforts of the World Health Organisation to control the Ebola outbreak, achieving zero cases and providing support for survivors, rumours about the cause of Ebola and the response to it continue to circulate. These rumours, a product of the initially over stretched and poorly implemented Ebola response, were more often linked to long-term issues of structural violence that also contributed to the unprecedented Continue reading →
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 →
There have been numerous recent analyses of the different manifestations of ‘resistance’ and ‘reticence’ that continue to be critical in Guinea. The socio-historical context that has contributed to deep-rooted mistrust of the State and authority (a sense of ‘abandonment’ [the West has only returned to intervene in Guinea to ‘count cases’ and international actors will again abandon the country when cases are ‘acceptably low’]; heavy-handed or repressive interventions; the perception that elites treat people as if they are disposable and unworthy etc.) is well recognised. Continue reading →
This comment piece identifies problematic assumptions behind communication and social mobilisation strategies which rely on using biomedicine to correct local logics and concerns and which cast them as misinformation. The effectiveness of using standardised advice for non-standardised situations is questioned.
This brief summarises some key considerations about the flow and control of money in relation to the Ebola response. The details have been collated from suggestions and insights provided by networks of anthropologists who work in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea (both in country and remotely). These are general considerations that are broadly relevant, but further investigation into local specificities is required. The French version of the brief is available here.
‘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 →