FOCUS 1000

Freetown, Sierra Leone

FOCUS 1000

Freetown, Sierra Leone
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Irwin K.L.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Jalloh M.F.,Focus 1000 | Jalloh M.F.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Corker J.,Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation | And 15 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2017

Introduction: In 2014-2016, an Ebola epidemic devastated Guinea; more than 3800 cases and 2500 deaths were reported to the World Health Organization. In August 2015, as the epidemic waned and clinical trials of an experimental, Ebola vaccine continued in Guinea and neighboring Sierra Leone, we conducted a national household survey about Ebola-related knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) and opinions about "hypothetical" Ebola vaccines. Methods: Using cluster-randomized sampling, we selected participants aged 15+ years old in Guinea's 8 administrative regions, which had varied cumulative case counts. The questionnaire assessed socio-demographic characteristics, experiences during the epidemic, Ebola-related KAP, and Ebola vaccine attitudes. To assess the potential for Ebola vaccine introduction in Guinea, we examined the association between vaccine attitudes and participants' characteristics using categorical and multivariable analyses. Results: Of 6699 persons invited to participate, 94% responded to at least 1 Ebola vaccine question. Most agreed that vaccines were needed to fight the epidemic (85.8%) and that their family would accept safe, effective Ebola vaccines if they became available in Guinea (84.2%). These measures of interest and acceptability were significantly more common among participants who were male, wealthier, more educated, and lived with young children who had received routine vaccines. Interest and acceptability were also significantly higher among participants who understood Ebola transmission modes, had witnessed Ebola response teams, knew Ebola-affected persons, believed Ebola was not always fatal, and would access Ebola treatment centers. In multivariable analyses of the majority of participants living with young children, interest and acceptability were significantly higher among those living with vaccinated children than among those living with unvaccinated children. Discussion: The high acceptability of hypothetical vaccines indicates strong potential for introducing Ebola vaccines across Guinea. Strategies to build public confidence in use of Ebola vaccines should highlight any similarities with safe, effective vaccines routinely used in Guinea. © 2017.


Fisher M.B.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Williams A.R.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Jalloh M.F.,FOCUS 1000 | Saquee G.,FOCUS 1000 | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Packaged drinking water (PW) sold in bottles and plastic bags/sachets is widely consumed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and many urban users in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) rely on packaged sachet water (PSW) as their primary source of water for consumption. However, few rigorous studies have investigated PSW quality in SSA, and none have compared PSW to stored household water for consumption (HWC). A clearer understanding of PSW quality in the context of alternative sources is needed to inform policy and regulation. As elsewhere in SSA, PSW is widely consumed in Sierra Leone, but government oversight is nearly nonexistent. This study examined the microbiological and chemical quality of a representative sample of PSW products in Freetown, Sierra Leone at packaged water manufacturing facilities (PWMFs) and at points of sale (POSs). Samples of HWC were also analyzed for comparison. The study did not find evidence of serious chemical contamination among the parameters studied. However, 19% of 45 PSW products sampled at the PWMF contained detectable Escherichia coli (EC), although only two samples exceeded 10 CFU/100 mL. Concentrations of total coliforms (TC) in PSW (but not EC) increased along the supply chain. Samples of HWC from 60 households in Freetown were significantly more likely to contain EC and TC than PSW at the point of production (p<0.01), and had significantly higher concentrations of both bacterial indicators (p<0.01). These results highlight the need for additional PSW regulation and surveillance, while demonstrating the need to prioritize the safety of HWC. At present, PSW may be the least unsafe option for many households. Copyright © 2015 Fisher et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Li W.,Center for Global Health | Jalloh M.F.,Center for Global Health | Bunnell R.,Center for Global Health | Aki-Sawyerr Y.,Sierra Leone National Ebola Response Center | And 9 more authors.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report | Year: 2016

What is already known about this topic? Public mistrust and fear based on misconceptions regarding health care system facilities and providers increased during the Ebola virus disease (Ebola) epidemic in Sierra Leone, and health care system usage rates declined sharply. Sierra Leone’s Ebola recovery and global health security strengthening efforts require willingness of citizens to seek care and place trust in that care. What is added by this report? A majority of participants in a knowledge, attitudes, and practices survey conducted after approximately 15 months of an Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone expressed at least some confidence in the health care system’s ability to treat patients suspected to have Ebola, and >90% reported confidence that the health care system could also provide non-Ebola services, including immunizations, antenatal care, and maternity care. Respondents from areas with active Ebola transmission had higher confidence in the health care system, as did respondents with higher education levels. Respondents ranked Ebola and malaria as the most important health issues for Sierra Leone. What are the implications for public health practice? Understanding factors contributing to public confidence in the health care system can help develop education and health promotion campaigns. Public confidence in the health care system to deliver basic services provides a foundation on which to build a restored and improved post-Ebola health system in Sierra Leone. © 2016, Department of Health and Human Services. All rights reserved.

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