Background: A major challenge to outbreak control lies in early detection of viral haemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) in local community contexts during the critical initial stages of an epidemic, when risk of spreading is its highest (“the first mile”). This paper documents how a major Ebola outbreak control effort in central Uganda in 2012 was experienced from the perspective of the community. It asks to what extent the community became a resource for early detection, and identifies problems encountered with community health worker and social mobilization strategies. Continue reading →
The CLEME (Community Led Ebola Man- agement and Eradication) programme aims at triggering the behavioural change needed by the communities to strengthen community resilience to the outbreak and prevent further resurgence by ensuring real and sustainable improvements through: Providing the communities with the means to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of the Ebola outbreak, their safety regarding the disease and its con- sequence if nothing is done; Instilling a feeling of urgency in engaging in community actions that will prevent the community experiencing infections; Supporting Continue reading →
Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) home deaths occur as the result of infected persons not being detected early and sent to Ebola Treatment Units (ETU) where they can access care and have an improved chance of survival. From a public health standpoint, EVD deaths should not occur at home. Individuals suspected of being infected with EVD should be identified through case investigations or contact tracing efforts and then referred to an ETU, thus decreasing their risk of dying as well as minimising the risk of exposing Continue reading →
This working paper reports on a study to collect data on co-morbidity and co-mortality among urban Liberian populations during the Ebola epidemic from September to October 2014. Particular attention is paid to how local communities defined their symptoms and sicknesses, the patterns of healthcare-seeking that they pursued in a context of highly restricted health care access, the types of treatment regimens that they deployed to support home based care within their communities, and their perceptions of the causes of disease.
This working paper reports on a study to identify epidemic control priorities among 15 communities in Monrovia and Montserrado County, Liberia. Data were collected in September 2014 on the following topics: prevention, surveillance, care-giving, community-based treatment and support, networking/hotlines/calling response teams and referrals, management of corpses, quarantine and isolation, orphans, memorialization, and the need for community-based training and education. The study also reviewed issues of fear and stigma towards Ebola victims and survivors, and support for those who have been affected by Ebola. The findings Continue reading →
“We are your brothers and sisters, we could never lie to you” says 60-year-old Marianne, as she walks from her motorbike towards a group of angry people in village Katkama. She opens her hand and offers a cola nut and a little money. It is a sign of peace and respect – and, in this case, the gesture works – the villagers begin to listen.