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ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-85

New targets for behaviour change in Ebola outbreaks: Ideas for future interventions


PhD, MS, ScM, Associate Professor, National University, School of Health and Human Services, San Diego, CA; California Southern University, School of Behavioral Sciences, 3330 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA, United States

Correspondence Address:
Tara Rava Zolnikov
National University, School of Health and Human Services, 3678 Aero Ct., San Diego, CA 92123
United States
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/INTV.INTV_4_18

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Ebola virus disease (EVD) is an infectious disease with serious individual health and population consequences. While Ebola is extremely contagious, the 2014 outbreak in West Africa was the worst to date. Many strategies were implemented for the containment and treatment of the disease, although some were limited by a lack of focus on social and behavioural factors. These factors must be taken into consideration during intervention development at the levels of individuals, communities and international networks to address issues that could block intervention success. Projects in which social and behavioural understandings are embedded can have long-lasting results not only within affected communities, but also within institutions, with key players, and at a broader level. Ultimately, removing the barriers to outbreak response strengthens health and social systems and could help to prevent EVD infection and reduce transmission worldwide. Key implications for practice
  • Behaviour-based strategies should include communication through specific groups and subsets of people.
  • This type of communication embedded with social and behavioural understanding can have long-lasting results not only within the community, but also in institutions, key players, and other communities and levels of society.
  • Ultimately, removing the barriers to outbreak response strengthens health and social systems.
  • Being aware of cultural norms and traditions at various levels (individual, community and international) could ultimately help prevent EVD infection and reduce transmission.


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