Assessments of Ebola knowledge, attitudes and practices in Forécariah, Guinea and Kambia, Sierra Leone, July-August 2015

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017 May 26;372(1721):20160304. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0304.


The border region of Forécariah (Guinea) and Kambia (Sierra Leone) was of immense interest to the West Africa Ebola response. Cross-sectional household surveys with multi-stage cluster sampling procedure were used to collect random samples from Kambia (n = 635) in July 2015 and Forécariah (n = 502) in August 2015 to assess public knowledge, attitudes and practices related to Ebola. Knowledge of the disease was high in both places, and handwashing with soap and water was the most widespread prevention practice. Acceptance of safe alternatives to traditional burials was significantly lower in Forécariah compared with Kambia. In both locations, there was a minority who held discriminatory attitudes towards survivors. Radio was the predominant source of information in both locations, but those from Kambia were more likely to have received Ebola information from community sources (mosques/churches, community meetings or health workers) compared with those in Forécariah. These findings contextualize the utility of Ebola health messaging during the epidemic and suggest the importance of continued partnership with community leaders, including religious leaders, as a prominent part of future public health protection.This article is part of the themed issue 'The 2013-2016 West African Ebola epidemic: data, decision-making and disease control'.

Keywords: Ebola knowledge; Guinea; Sierra Leone; attitudes; practices.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ebolavirus
  • Female
  • Guinea
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sierra Leone
  • Young Adult