Key experiences of community engagement and social mobilization in the Ebola response

G. Laverack, Erma Manoncourt

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Abstract

The ongoing outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa is the largest on record; it has undermined already fragile healthcare systems and presented new challenges to contain the spread of the disease. Based on our observations in the field and insights from referenced sources, we aimed to identify key experiences of community engagement and social mobilization efforts in the current Ebola response. We concluded that there is no excuse not to actively involve local people and that the United Nations (UN) agencies and other partners did learn from their earlier mistakes to make a genuine attempt to better engage with communities. However, bottom-up approaches have not been widely implemented during the response and the reasons for not doing so must be further assessed. Health promotion can make an important contribution, because it shows how to enable people to take more control over their lives and health. This commentary can provide a guide to agencies to understand an appropriate way forward when the next Ebola outbreak inevitably occurs. © The Author(s) 2015.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Health Promotion
Volume23
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)79-82
Number of pages4
ISSN1757-9759
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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