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Socio-Cultural Factors Associated with Epidemics: The Case of 2014 Ebola Outbreak

Whembolua, Guy-lucien S. and Kambamba, Darly Kambamba and Conserve, Donaldson and Tshiswaka, Daudet Ilunga (2015): Socio-Cultural Factors Associated with Epidemics: The Case of 2014 Ebola Outbreak.

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Public health behaviors often frame issues as ascribed or related to individuals’ actions or inaction. This framing suggests that poor health occurs because individuals are unable or unwilling to heed preventive messages or recommended treatment actions. Moreover, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals call for strategies to reduce combat specific diseases using individual behavioral measures as well as develop a partnership between countries for health development. Using the PEN-3 cultural model as an analytical framework, the objective of this work is to assess the role played by socio- cultural factors in the spread and or prevention of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa. Results of the study revealed that positive, existential and negative factors were associated with the spread of EVD. Future interventions targeting EVD propagation in low-income countries should address socio-cultural factors, as they are necessary to support health equity.

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