Ebola Preparedness and Traditional Healers in South Sudan

7th November 2018
Author: Catherine Grant

This review focuses on the evidence on Ebola preparedness in South Sudan through an anthropological lens, looking at informal and traditional health care systems. It presents the evidence on how these can be utilised for surveillance, behaviour change communication, and vaccinations in the case of an Ebola outbreak, including: establishing surveillance of these services and how healers would be able to provide alerts about possible cases in the event of an Ebola outbreak in South Sudan; evidence on how to provide information to traditional healers on how they can protect themselves from infection using simple methods, and to stop them becoming ‘superspreaders’ of the virus, and how to potentially vaccinate or provide information on vaccines to these healers alongside other health workers. The main linguistic groupings and ethnic groups that are predominant in areas considered to be at highest risk of Ebola outbreak in South Sudan are: Zande, Baka, Moru, Kakwa, Pojulu, Kuku, Bari, Acholi, Madi, Lotuko, Toposa and Didinga, so these are the focus of this report. These groups were provided by the team that commissioned this report.

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Suggested Citation

Grant, C. (2018). Ebola preparedness and traditional healers in South Sudan. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies


7th November 2018


Continent: Africa

Country: South Sudan