Kodish SR, Rohner F, Beaulière JM, Mamady D, Ayoya MA, Wirth JP, Ngnie-Teta I

August 2018 – PLOS ONE

Due to the close relationship between EVD and nutrition, the humanitarian community implemented various nutrition-specific and -sensitive interventions to stem the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in West Africa. To understand stakeholder and community members’ perspectives toward this response in Guinea, we aimed to firstly understand how EVD may have influenced the nutrition situation; and secondly to assess the perceived acceptability and effectiveness of the nutrition response. Using 27 in-depth interviews conducted in April and May 2016, this descriptive, qualitative study had three iterative phases in an emergent design. Overall, several plausible pathways through an interrelated network of bio-social factors help describe EVD impacts on the nutrition situation of Guinea. At a basic level, complex social dimensions of health, response unpreparedness, and market disruptions were perceived to be major determinants affecting the nutrition situation, especially among IYC. At an underlying level, household food security was negatively impacted, along with weakened care-seeking practices, IYC feeding practices, and coping strategies. Consequently, treatment coverage for childhood illnesses and IYC diets were negatively impacted during the outbreak. In hindsight, most participants had positive perceptions toward the overall EVD response, but described salient considerations for improving upon this nutrition response during future outbreaks.

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