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Lessons from the West Africa Ebola epidemic: A systematic review of epidemiological and social and behavioral science research priorities

This systematic literature review compared the epidemiological (EPI) research and the qualitative social and behavioral science (SBS) research published during the West Africa Ebola virus disease (EVD) epidemic. The findings support a program of action that situates data collection and analysis in real-time, recursive, integrated efforts to move community attitudes, behaviors, and responses into epidemiological research, and the paper offers recommendations to improve coordinated, multidisciplinary approaches to health emergencies.

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Ebola: Limitations of correcting misinformation

In this resource, members of the Ebola Response Anthropology Platform call on all organisations involved in the response to the Ebola outbreak to question the assumption that biomedicine must correct local logics and concerns, and the effectiveness of using standardised advice for non-standardised situations.

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Understanding the cryptic nature of Lassa fever in West Africa

In this article the authors give an overview of the current knowledge on Lassa fever (ecology, epidemiology and distribution) and the importance of future socio-ecological changes in the increase of Lassa fever burden.

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Using modelling to disentangle the relative contributions of zoonotic and anthroponotic transmission: The case of Lassa fever

The authors present the results of a modelling approach, using published data from outbreak and patients to Kenema governmental Hospital in Sierra Leone. They estimate the likely contribution to human to human transmission. They shed light on the need to better assess the human to human transmission.

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New opportunities for field research on the pathogenesis and treatment of Lassa fever

This resource reviews the present literature on treatment and pathogenesis of Lassa fever and outlines priorities for future research in the field made possible by the improved research capacity of the Mano River Union countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, Lassa fever network. 

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Engaging ‘communities’: Anthropological insights from the West African Ebola epidemic

This resource reflects on the nature of community engagement during the Ebola epidemic and demonstrates a disjuncture between local realities and what is being imagined in post-Ebola reports about the lessons that need to be learned for the future. It argues that to achieve stated aims of building trust and strengthening outbreak response and health systems, public health institutions need to reorientate their conceptualization of ‘the community’ and develop ways of working which take complex social and political relationships into account.

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Challenges in preparing and implementing a clinical trial at field level in an Ebola emergency: A case study in Guinea, West Africa

This resource describes the main challenges of the implementation of a trial in the Ebola treatment center of Guéckédou. Following the principles of the Good Clinical Research Practices, it reports the aspects of the community’s communication and engagement, ethical conduct, trial protocol compliance, informed consent of participants, ongoing benefit/risk assessment, record keeping, confidentiality of patients and study data, and roles and responsibilities of the actors involved.

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Popular concerns about medical research projects in sub-Saharan Africa – a critical voice in debates about medical research ethics

This resource aims to move beyond the dismissal of stories about blood-stealing and trade in body parts as ‘mere’ rumour, based on erroneous belief or traditional superstition, and to instead appreciate them as modern commentaries on social relations that involve, and extend far beyond, scientific medical research.

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WHO: Target product profile for Lassa virus vaccine

This resource is an outline of the WHO target product profile development  for Lassa, as well as a generic description of WHO's Vaccine Pre-qualification process.

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Speaking with vampires: Rumor and history in colonial Africa

This book presents and interprets vampire stories from East and Central Africa as a way of understanding the world as the storytellers did. Using gossip and rumour as historical sources in their own right, it assesses the place of such evidence, oral and written, in historical reconstruction.

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