The Ebola Virus and West Africa: Medical and Sociocultural Aspects

Ikuomola, Felix
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2015]
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Problem: Little attention has been given to the undeniable impact of the socio-cultural factors on communicable disease, especially Ebola. We have failed at managing Ebola outbreaks in Africa. Most of the preparatory and intensive training of health personnel attending to the needs of those societies where culture is at the center of life have given only lip service to the importance of integrating this culture into the medical training curriculum and practice. Purpose: To itemize and emphasize the role of sociocultural factors in Ebola virus disease acquisition, transmission, containment, prevention, surveillance, screening, and control. To propose cultural modification of the aspects of the West African cultural practices that enhanced the Ebola virus disease spread through constructive community engagement. To recommend integration, collaboration, and cooperation between traditional medicinal practitioners and medical practitioners. Procedure: Gathered data on Ebola virus disease and West Africa and sociocultural factors through Pubmed, government websites, organizations, media, and personal stories. The data were synthesized into comparative, descriptive, and exploratory analyses. Conclusion: This cognitive and literature review paper will generate data to support the impact of cultural practices on Ebola spread and containment. Recommendations from this paper will not only contribute greatly to preventing any further Ebola spread but also be useful in surveillance, screening, patient tracing, and disease control.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). Biomedical Science
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