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Evaluation of rodent control to fight Lassa fever based on field data and mathematical modelling

This resource aims to to assess the efficacy of rodent control by performing a 4-year field experiment in rural Upper Guinea, and developing a mathematical model to simulate different control strategies (annual density control, continuous density control, and rodent vaccination).

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Evidence that rodent control strategies ought to be improved to enhance food security and reduce the risk of rodent-borne illnesses within subsistence farming villages in the plague/endemic West Nile region, Uganda

This resource presents a survey of 37 households from 17 subsistence farming villages within the West Nile region of Uganda. This revealed that rodents cause both pre- and post-harvest damage to crops. Evidence of rodent access to stored foods was reported in conjunction with each of the reported storage practices, and the paper suggests that current efforts are inadequate for effectively reducing rodent abundance in homes.

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Case-control study of Mastomys natalensis and humans in Lassa virus-infected households in Sierra Leone

This resource studied Lassa virus infection and antibodies in households where Lassa fever cases occurred and compared these to those in the nearest neighbour houses and "far" houses located across the village. It reports on rodent infection and human anti-body prevalence. 

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The bioeconomics of controlling an African rodent pest species

This resource presents an ecological population model as a basis for an economic analyses of controlling an African pest rodent, the multimammate rate, which causes major damage in maize production. This study sues data from the village level in Tanzania, and the model incorporates density-dependent and density-independent factors.

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When the field is a ward or a clinic: Hospital ethnography

This resource attempts to demonstrate the value of deeply embedded hospital ethnography as a means to offer a new level of data with which to synthesise critical medical anthropology. The author uses this collection to showcase how hospital-based ethnographic work offers a collaborative approach in which the ethnographer, of necessity, must take into account a broader range of experiences in hospital encounters.

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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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The process and practice of diagnosis: Innovations in diagnostics for Lassa fever in Sierra Leone

Chapter 5 of Annie Wilkinson’s PhD thesis, provides a detailed description of health seeking behaviours for Lassa Fever in rural Sierra Leone. In this context, people interpreted and managed Lassa Fever in light of their familiarity with a wide range of other diseases, some of which were viewed as dangerous and others less so; in contexts where sickness, health and treatment were marked by uncertainty; and where hospitals were not necessarily perceived to be sites of good care.  An important insight is that people differentiated ‘big sick’ or ‘hospital sick’ from an ordinary or ‘small’ sick and it was partly on the basis of this distinction that people would choose to access care.

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Power, fairness and trust : understanding and engaging with vaccine trial participants and communities in the setting up the EVOVAC-Salone vaccine trial in Sierra Leone

In this article the authors discuss the implementation of an Ebola vaccine trial in Kambia district in Sierra Leone during and after the epidemic. They analyze the role of social science research for the development of community engagement strategies. The authors give special attention to the analysis of rumours as source of information and explanation about resistance rooted in a much deeper sociopolitical context.

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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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Patients’ and healthcare providers’ perceptions and practices regarding hypertension, pharmacy-based care, and mHealth in Lagos, Nigeria

Although not focused on Lassa Fever, a recent publication on hypertension in Nigeria, provides a comprehensive review of contemporary health seeking behaviour in the country, underlining the important role that small-scale local pharmaceutical providers provide as the front line of medical care.  This study also describes what respondents call a ‘Nigerian Factor’; a reluctance to seek health care until very sick.

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