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Trust, and distrust, of Ebola Treatment Centers : A case-study from Sierra Leone

Title data

Richards, Paul ; Mokuwa, Esther ; Maat, Harro ; Welmers, Pleun ; Beisel, Uli:
Trust, and distrust, of Ebola Treatment Centers : A case-study from Sierra Leone.
In: PLoS One. Vol. 14 (2019) Issue 12 . - No. e0224511.
ISSN 1932-6203

Project information

Project title:
Project's official title
Project's id
Trust in medicine after the EVD epidemic: Street-level health bureaucrats, the institutionalization of care, and the creation of preparedness in Sierra Leone, Uganda, and Ghana
No information

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

The paper considers local responses to the introduction of an Ebola Treatment Centre in eastern Sierra Leone during the West African epidemic of 2014–15. Our study used qualitative methods consisting of focus groups and interviews, to gather responses from patients, members of the families of survivors and deceased victims of the disease, social liaison
workers from the centre, and members of the general public. The data indicate that scepticism and resistance were widespread at the outset, but that misconceptions were replaced, in the minds of those directly affected by the disease, by more positive later assessments.
Social workers, and social contacts of families with workers in the centre, helped reshape these perceptions, but a major factor was direct experience of the disease. This is apparent in the positive endorsements by survivors and families who had members taken to the facility. Even relatives of deceased victims agreed that the case-handling centre was valuable. However, we also present evidence of continuing scepticism in the minds of members of the general public, who continue to suspect that Ebola was a crisis manufactured for external benefit. Our conclusions stress the importance of better connectivity between communities and Ebola facilities to facilitate experiential learning. There is also a need to address the wider cognitive shock caused by a well-funded Ebola health initiative arriving in communities with a long history of inadequate health care. Restoring trust in medicine requires Ebola Virus Disease to be recontextualized within a broader framework of concern for the health of all citizens.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Former Professors > Chair Culture and Technology in Africa - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Beisel
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Culture and Technology in Africa
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Former Professors
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
600 Technology, medicine, applied sciences > 610 Medicine and health
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2020 10:48
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2022 10:20