1Johns Hopkins University
CaHReF 2018, Yaoundé Congres hall, 08 – 11 January 2019 , OAU030
Background: Cholera is endemic in Cameroon and the Far North Region has been strongly affected by outbreaks in recent years. Nevertheless, factors underlying the transmission and outbreak remains poorly understood. It is unknown what causes the cholera transmission and outbreak. In this study, we explore the cultural factors associated with cholera
Objectif: Cultural aspects of cholera
Methodology: Data was collected using semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions. Interviews were conducted in two phases – the first phase involved key informant interviews, followed by focus group (all community members) and household (head of household and associated family members) discussions. Thematic techniques including word repetition, key-indigenous terms, and key-words-in-context were used for qualitative data analysis.
Results:It was clear that many participants had limited scientific knowledge about cholera and its transmission. Key Informants attributed the etiology of cholera to water and food while group discussions attributed it to a reprimand from â€˜god' and transmission through the air. Informants suggested that human gatherings (e.g. through certain cultural practices such as funerals and weddings even during the period of cholera outbreak), communal shared use of drinking water, or â€˜caneri', pervasive practice of group eating with hands from the same bowl using fingers, may facilitate cholera transmission. In general, household health-seeking behavior is often decided by the male
Conclusion/Recommandation:Cultural factors are likely to play important roles in the transmission of cholera in the FN. Understanding the cultural context, beliefs, individual and community perceptions of the risk and disease may help local public health agencies and hospitals in response to outbreak prevention and/or control of transmission. This may be very critical in a setting
Where plurality of languages and mistrust affects receptivity of awareness campaign messages and adherence to treatment.
Key Words:cholera; transmission; culture; behavior; Far North;