Date of Conferral





Public Health


Jennifer Rothamel, German A. Gonzalez


The 2014 Ebola virus epidemic in the West Coast of Africa was a historically unprecedented epidemic with a sustained spread in multiple West African nations, including Sierra Leone. The World Health Organization (WHO) classified Sierra Leone as a high Ebola-affected country as it reported the highest number of deaths (14,124) during the last Ebola outbreak compared to other Ebola-affected countries. Public health experts have given little attention to the impact of sociocultural factors on infectious diseases, especially Ebola. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether there is a relationship between the spread of EVD and a patient’s gender, age, washing of the corpse, the role of housewife, contact with a living sick person, and funeral attendance. The theoretical framework for this investigation was the social-ecological model, which supported research involving physical, behavioral, and social determinants associated with information on the Ebola virus. This quantitative cross-sectional study from the Sierra Leone Ebola Data, a sample size of 81,923 collated by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation, used a binary logistic regression and chi-square test analysis to investigate the research questions. Results showed that age, gender, funeral attendance, and contact with a living sick person were significant predictors of the spread of the Ebola virus while washing a corpse and fulfilling the traditional role of a housewife were not essential indicators for the spread of the virus. This study contributes to social change by helping health experts to implement strategies to contain and treat the disease. Healthcare experts must consider the success of interventions and social and behavioral factors while considering issues that may inhibit combating the spread of the virus.

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