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Community Perspectives about Ebola in Liberia: Results of a Qualitative Study

Citation: 
Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. Community Perspectives about Ebola in Liberia: Results of a Qualitative Study. 2015
Abstract / Summary: 
   
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This study aimed to assess differences in community perceptions about, and in response to, Ebola in three counties in Liberia...

Based on their findings, the authors make 7 recommendations (below). The full report can be freely downloaded here:

Recommendation 1: Community education and information resources must continue to dispel rumors and myths about Ebola...

Recommendation 2: Involving community and religious leaders in the fight against Ebola has proved to be an effective strategy for mobilizing the community around a common cause...

Recommendation 3: Community task forces should continue to be part of the response to Ebola and other health issues. They can also become strong grassroots networks for dispersal of correct and accurate information...

Recommendation 4: Health workers in Liberia will benefit from training in emergency preparedness...

Recommendation 5: There is need for community education to correct prevailing myths and rumors about Ebola transmission...

Recommendation 6: Establishment of a national emergency preparedness plan may help to allay some of these fears...

Recommendation 7: Exploring factors responsible for the low prevalence of Ebola in the low disease burden counties may be a useful research endeavor...

Below are some quotations from community members:

"When Ebola first came into this community around July, people, including health workers, were confused because there was no prior knowledge on how to protect ourselves (Bong, Civil Compound, male health worker KI, age 36)."

"The people in this community first believed that Ebola was a man-­-made virus, made for financial reasons because the more people died the more money government will get from donors. However, this belief system has changed to a larger extent owing to the number of deaths we experience in our community in late July when the first case was discovered in this community" (Bong, Civil Compound, male health worker KI, age 36).

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Author(s): 
Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs
Year published: 
2015
Month published: 
January