Background: During the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, community resistance obstructed case investigation and response. We investigated a cluster of Ebola cases that were hiding in the forest, refusing external help, to identify sociocultural determinants related to community resistance.
Methods: Participant observation, interviews and focus group discussions were carried out.
Results: Most villagers feared the Ebola treatment centre (ETC) as there was the belief that people were killed in ETCs for organ trade. Four survivors accompanied back to the village from the ETC shared their experiences and reassured their neighbours. Subsequently, community compliance with contact tracing improved, leading to the timely detection of cases.
Conclusions: Engaging Ebola virus disease survivors improved community compliance. Understanding the sociocultural context and community perceptions may improve community engagement and prevent Ebola virus transmission.
Keywords: Anthropology; Community; Ebola virus disease; Guinea; Outbreak; Qualitative research.
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