Cultural Context of Ebola in Northern Uganda 2003

Journal Article: Emerging Infectious Diseases • Vol. 9, No. 10, October 2003
Technical guidelines for the control of Ebola hemorrhagic
fever (EHF) indicate that understanding local views
and responses to an outbreak is essential. However, few
studies with such information exist. Thus, we used qualitative
and quantitative methods to determine how local residents
of Gulu, Uganda, viewed and responded to the
2000–2001 outbreak of EHF. Results indicated that Acholi
people used at least three explanatory models to explain
and respond to the outbreak; indigenous epidemic control
measures were often implemented and were consistent with
those being promoted by healthcare workers; and some cultural
practices amplified the outbreak (e.g., burial practices).
However, most persons were willing to modify and work with
national and international healthcare workers.

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