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The Role of Social Cultural and Environmental Factors in Improving Ebola Virus Disease Response and Resilience

The 2013-2015 outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) was unprecedented, resulting in more than 11,000 human deaths with an estimated total cost of US$4.3 billion. The outbreak highlighted the need for a greater understanding of the social, economic, cultural, and physical environment factors that are essential to improving EVD response capacities and decreasing the risk of further outbreaks.

This project aims to improve understanding of social and environmental factors as precursors for increased vulnerability to EVD outbreaks in susceptible communities. It also seeks to apply this knowledge to mitigate the outbreak potential of EVD and to improve response strategies to contain viral transmission and the spread of disease using community-based initiatives.

This research is expected to generate new information on vulnerabilities associated with gender, age, and cultural association that will help to improve prevention and response capacities to EVD at the community, local, country, and international levels.

This project is funded by the Rapid Research Fund for Ebola Virus Disease Outbreaks, a CA$1.5 million initiative that was mobilized and co-funded by IDRC, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. The Fund supports four collaborative projects jointly led by Canadian and African researchers.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
24 months
IDRC Officer
Samuel Oji Oti
Total Funding
CA$ 359,968.00
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Sierra Leone
Global Health
Global Health
Institution Country
Project Leader
S Ali
York University