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Ebola resources: where to start

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The unprecedented scale of the Ebola outbreak has prompted a number of online initiatives aimed at supporting the global response to the outbreak by providing access to relevant knowledge, news and other resources. This short feature highlights some of these initiatives – in particular the Ebola Response Anthropology platform, which was launched earlier this month and has taken a unique anthropological approach to the Ebola response.

The platform, coordinated by academics from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), and the Universities of Sussex and Exeter, aims to “build a more locally appropriate and socially informed outbreak response by providing clear, practical, real-time advice that engages with crucial socio-cultural and political dimensions of the outbreak.”

It provides rapid responses by email, conference calls and web-based dialogues to operational questions raised by those working for NGOs, government and international agencies to contain the epidemic or care for those affected. The website also provides access to briefings and guides, background, and field notes on the topics of:
  • Identifying and diagnosing cases
  • Management of the dead
  • Caring for the sick
  • Clinical trials/research
  • Preparedness.

If you're looking for other sources of information on the Ebola outbreak and response, here are a few that we've found useful and interesting:

  • The Lancet Ebola Resource Centre: resources from The Lancet on Ebola, including updates, audio, research and editorials.
  • The Ebola Communication Network: a collection of health communication materials from a variety of sources designed to help address the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa. 
  • WHO Ebola Virus Disease: Technical information, resources, features, situation reports and country information from the World Health Organization.
  • SciDev.Net Ebola Crisis: SciDev.Net's collection of the latest stories from Ebola-stricken countries.

Image credit: © European Commission DG ECHO, 2014

A selection of documents on Ebola

Ebola and beyond: Equality, sustainability, security - interlaced challenges in a global development era
M Leach / Institute of Development Studies UK 2014
The 2014 Ebola crisis in West Africa is a global emergency and a set of personal tragedies. But beyond the urgent headlines and struggles to control the epidemic, what deeper stories should be told? This paper, origin...
Psychosocial support during an outbreak of Ebola virus disease
International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies 2014
This briefing note provides background knowledge on the psychosocial aspects related to Ebola and suggests psychosocial support activities that can be implemented. Psychosocial support is not only vital to ensure the ...
Psychological first aid during Ebola virus disease outbreaks
World Health Organization 2014
Ebola virus disease outbreaks have a significant impact on the wellbeing of those affected, their family, community members and the health workers treating people with Ebola. This guide focuses on psychological first ai...
Medical Anthropology Study of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) Outbreak in Liberia / West Africa
P. Omidian,; K. Tehoungue; J. Monger / World Health Organization 2014
The 2014 outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa (Guinea Conakry, Liberia and Sierra Leone) is causing anxiety, fear and panic for communities in these three countries, the deadliest in years with the majority o...
The significance of death, funerals and the after-life in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia: Anthropological insights into infection and social resistance
J. Fairhead / Health and Education Advice and Resource Team 2014
The aim of this briefing paper is to consider the various ways in which widely reported fear and resistance to the Ebola response can be understood, and what each way of understanding offers to those battling with the 2014 e...