Lee Village Transcript


Lee Village Transcript


One village I went, they didn't get Ebola yet but their neighboring village did, so we wanted to make sure that they are well prepared if it were to come to their village. The village chief was a very powerful man. Within five minutes--there's some sort of communication structure that's embedded, incorporated. In five minutes, the entire village is surrounding us, ready to listen to what we have to say. I don't know how they do it, but they do it. And the chief was telling me a most interesting thing. Not me, but the other team, and they translated. That, "I heard from the neighboring chief that quarantine would happen if a family becomes ill. He also said the quarantine ration might not come in a timely manner, and that chiefs really have to step up so that the quarantined family can stay quarantined. I heard that from my neighboring chief." And I said, "Tell me more what the other chief told you." And he was basically saying, "I selected five reliable young men in the community to harvest for the quarantined family because that region, they're all farmers and it was during harvest season. They're not worried about the next twenty-one days, they're worried about the next seven months of food and money, the income." Because early on in the outbreak, one of the messages included do not eat bush meat. So all these bush animals are having a field day ruining these farms. Every individual I talked to said Ebola is only good for bush animals. [laughs] Bush animals are happy. They reproduce, they make a large family. So an unintended consequence of telling the message of "do not eat bush meat," they're not killing bush animals. Bush animals are ruining the farm. A quarantined family worried about their farm will not stay quarantined, will go attend to the farm. So the next neighbor chief told them, if you can ensure and comfort the quarantined family that there are other people attending the farm, make sure you give them ten percent of whatever the harvest comes out to be, we all win. And the other village chief said it's not to shame the family. The community really has to fight together. Neighbors will bring chicken in front of the border--like there's a radius you're not supposed to enter the quarantined home. They will leave fresh water or chicken or cassava leaves, things like that for the quarantined family because quarantined ration usually includes rice and beans and some lard and fuel. Some might think that's enough to survive, but that's not an exciting life when you were eating chicken and fish yesterday. All of a sudden, I eat rice and beans now? Come on. So that was a really good way to understand how organically some of these solutions were occurring. It wasn't always that positive when I go to the villages, but some of these good messages can be reincorporated into dissemination throughout the district or even to the national level, and that's what I did. I wrote up for my burial paper, these were the focus groups that we did and some of these findings were coming about, and organic solutions tend to be well accepted by the community. So things like that I did in Bo.


“Lee Village Transcript,” CDC Museum Digital Exhibits, accessed June 14, 2024, http://cdcmuseum.org/items/show/764.