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Lassa Virus Hemorrhagic Fever in Benin in 2014 in an Ebola Context: An Epidemic Revealing the Weakness of the Health System

This resource aims to understand the social conditions of the outbreak and evolution of the Lassa haemorrhagic fever epidemic in Benin, 2014, and the technical, political and institutional processes of its management by the state and international alert network and health response. It reports on the results of a qualitative survey conducted at several sites: at the Ministry of Health in Cotonou, in the health services (including the Saint-Jean de Dieu Hospital in Tanguiéta in the north of the country), and in the families of the geographical area of ​​the epidemic.

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Organizational Culture: The Anthropological Approach

This resource provides an overview of anthropology and organizational culture consulting. It discusses practical issues for consultants such as how to define organizational culture, what method and theory in anthropology to use in doing consulting, and what literature is available in anthropology.

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Rodent control to fight Lassa fever: Evaluation and lessons learned from a 4-year study in Upper Guinea

This paper performed a 4 year intervention based on chemical rodent control, utilizing anticoagulant rodenticides in 3 villages and evaluating the rodent abundance before and after treatment. They found that chemical treatment provides an effective tool to control local rodent populations. Based on these findings and the acceptability of rodent control activities at community level, the authors aim to promote, in coordination with health and agricultural authorities, a more holistic approach, including rodent trapping and poisoning, environmental hygiene, personal hygiene, house repairs and rodent-proof storage.

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Lassa fever outbreak in Southwestern Nigeria: The Ekiti state response amidst economic recession

This article describes part of the response to an outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria in 2016.  The paper underlines the importance of Intersectoral collaboration and political will in response to outbreaks at the provincial or state, but also records challenges to control efforts including inadequate local laboratory capacity and fear among health workers, panic response among the general populace as well as deficient emergency preparedness.

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Lassa fever: The politics of an emerging disease and the scope for One Health

As a rodent borne virus, Lassa fever is of particular interest from a One Health perspective. The interplay between security, public health and One Health approaches are explored through ethnographic and interview based research in Kenema, Sierra Leone, a long-term treatment and research hub. ‘Biodefence dollars’ have provided the majority of recent funding in Sierra Leone and have created opportunities for both local and international actors to address a neglected disease.

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Domestic cats and dogs create a landscape of fear for pest rodents around rural homesteads

This paper found that the presence of cats and dogs at the same homestead significantly reduced activity and increased ’giving up densities’ (i.e. increased perception of foraging cost) of pest rodent species. The results suggest that pest rodent activity can be discouraged through the presence of domestic predators. When different types of predator are present together, they likely create a heightened landscape of fear for foraging rodents.

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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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Culture and politics: The anthropology of an emerging disease

This book explores how indigenous people cope with the Ebola virus, addresses political, structural, psychological, and cultural factors, along with conventional intervention protocols as problematic to achieving medical objectives. It also aims to shed new light on a continuing debate about the motivation for human behavior by showing how local responses to epidemics are rooted both in culture and in human nature.

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Emerging disease or emerging diagnosis?: Lassa fever and Ebola in Sierra Leone

This article looks beyond Ebola in 2014 to the history of efforts to control VHFs in the Mano River and challenges the idea that there was a vacuum of knowledge. Highlighted instead are politics of knowledge which have run through global health and which have prioritized particular forms of knowledge and ways of dealing with disease. Ethnographic research on the emergence of Lassa and the subsequent emergence of Ebola in West Africa is presented, focusing on the development of technologies and institutions to detect and manage both viruses.

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