Master's Culminating Experience
Background: Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a dangerous, often fatal disease that spreads through infected bodily fluids. In 2014, an Ebola outbreak swept through West Africa, including Liberia.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine how social vulnerability affected different aspects of life during the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Monrovia, Liberia. The association between vulnerability and hardship that people experience during the outbreak was examined. This was measured by indicator variables for hardship such as availability of food, cash, or medical care. Vulnerability was also compared with EVD knowledge and vigilance.
Method: An additive index for social vulnerability was constructed using demographic variables such as age and gender. A logistic regression was conducted between social vulnerability and hardship outcome variables. EVD knowledge and EVD vigilance were also compared with vulnerability through logistic regression.
Results: There was a significant relationship between social vulnerability and the availability of medical treatment, food, and employment. Odds ratios were observed between social vulnerability and some individual hardship variables. Vulnerable people were more likely to have no access to medical care or cash and less likely to know an Ebola survivor. Additionally, vulnerable people were more likely to have incorrect EVD knowledge and less EVD vigilance.
Conclusions: Social vulnerability is significantly associated with some aspects of hardship that people can experience, as well as EVD knowledge and vigilance. Further research is needed to observe the impact of vulnerability during crises, as well as comparing vulnerability during crises to normal life.
Zatreh, M. Y. (2018). The Effect of Social Vulnerability during the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in Monrovia, Liberia. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.
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