Participatory behavioural change to reinforce infection prevention and control for Ebola virus disease in Sierra Leone

Grant awarded: £185,621

Lead organisation: International Rescue Committee

Partnering organisations: Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Durham University, University of Sierra Leone, Kenema District Health Team

Project length: Nov-14 to May-15

Study locations: Sierra Leone

Principal Investigator: Dr Lara Ho & Ruwan Ratnayake


This study uses a participatory mixed methods approach to evaluate the processes that health workers take in adhering to standard precautions, after being trained and supplied with materials, in order to ensure the strict adherence that is necessary to prevent Ebola infection.

Expected outcomes:

The project aims to develop strategies to improve adherence to standard precautions through the assessment of knowledge, risk perception, self-efficacy, and barriers and enablers for standard precautions in primary health facilities. It will also enable better understanding of the perspectives of health facility staff and health committees on the use of personal protective equipment.

Progress and outcomes achieved:

The following milestones are complete: Contextual analysis, Development of strategies, Trialling of strategies. Data collection is now complete and the analysis phase has started, but is 4 weeks behind schedule due to additional IRC Ebola response activities.

Local dissemination has been taking place since inception, in order to get information out while it was still current, with a recent presentation to National Ebola Response Committee (NERC) in February.

R2HC Funding for Ebola Projects.  A Rapid Response

 In August 2014, the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa was declared an International Health Emergency by WHO and within a couple of weeks ELRHA launched a rapid-response call for research to combat the crisis.  The UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Wellcome Trust and ELRHA opened a special funding window through the Research for Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) programme.

 The aim of this emergency call was both to produce robust research findings that could contribute to the effectiveness of the response to the current outbreak and help to draw lessons for future outbreaks of Ebola and other communicable diseases. The projects funded will strengthen the evidence base for the Ebola response in topics ranging from diagnostics to anthropology, surveillance and disease control.

Elrha is a registered charity in England and Wales (1177110).

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