Strengthening community linkages to Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak preparedness in Uganda
Report on anthropological research on the socio-cultural context of EVD in the most-at-risk districts in Uganda
On June 11th the Ministry of Health declared an epidemic of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in Kasese District, South West Uganda (MoH, 2019). This outbreak was traced in part due to the porous border between the DRC and Uganda, but also exacerbated by political instability in affected areas of the DRC where the epidemic has been ongoing since August 2018 leading to continuous influx of refugees to Uganda, low community engagement in Uganda's high-risk districts, and certain social and cultural norms related to Ebola prevention and control (MoH, 2018). Moreover, the Ugandan National Task Force on Disease Outbreaks and Response has cited an urgent need for a strategy for border health, cross-border cooperation, and scaled up risk communication among other priorities (See the 21st February and 14th March 2019 updates).
This research relied on anthropological methods to describe the social and cultural context of EVD prevention, transmission, and preparedness.