The 2013-2016 Ebola epidemic: Evaluating communication strategies between two affected countries in West Africa

Brodie F. Walker, Emmanuel C. Adukwu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Ebola is a haemorrhagic disease with high fatality rates between 25 and 90%. The 2013-16 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was the largest to date with >28 000 cases and >11 000 fatalities. This outbreak exposed inadequacies in public health agencies and has spurred health officials to re-evaluate the way Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemics are co-ordinated and communicated. Methods: This project compares, using the systematic review method, differences in the communication of EVD in Nigeria and Liberia with data from selected articles analyzed using thematic analysis. Results: The most successful communication strategies were community engagement and targeted health-communication to the most at-risk groups. We also highlight the importance of a multi-modal strategy to effectively communicate prevention and management of EVD to affected communities. Secondary to these findings included the relevance of the media, particularly social media tools in managing such serious outbreak situations. Conclusion: This study provides the basis for the development of a theory-based framework to effectively communicate EVD and reduce the negative outcomes observed during the 2013-16 EVD outbreak.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-124
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.

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