This practice briefing sets out what BBC Media Action learned in delivering and supporting health communication in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa in 2014–15, focusing specifically on their activities in Sierra Leone. The paper aims to contribute to a body of knowledge about how to best harness and deploy media and communication in public health emergencies. It also underscores the need for the global community to plan and invest in communication long before any crises take hold, to ensure that communication plays a central role in reducing the impact of future crisis events.
This paper summarizes gaps in the knowledge on uptake of preventive measures for Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), findings from studies that have been conducted on treatment and management of EVD, Barrier Analysis studies on behaviors related to EVD, and the lessons learned from these studies. This paper is primarily addressed to governments, NGOs, Faith-based organizations (FBOs), Community-based organization (CBOs), social and behavioral change professionals and frontline workers, researchers, and program planners. It is intended for anyone interested in understanding the key behavioral determinants that affect uptake of behaviors that help in the prevention, early treatment and management of EVD, other communicable diseases similar to EVD (e.g., Marburg Virus Disease), and diseases that are transmitted by some of the behaviors studied (e.g., hand washing with soap).
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