VOICE-OVER:
ARE RUMOR AND SUSPICION HINDERING THE FIGHT AGAINST EBOLA IN WEST AFRICA?
(SUPER = Meliandou, Guinea)
A TWO-YEAR-OLD BOY NAMED EMILE IS OFFICIALLY THOUGHT TO BE THE FIRST CASE IN THE OUTBREAK.
HE LIVED IN WHAT’S CONSIDERED THE EPIDEMIC’S GROUND ZERO – A DENSE FOREST LINKING GUINEA, SIERRA LEONE AND LIBERIA.
BUT IT’S UNCLEAR HOW HE GOT IT, POSSIBLY FROM A FRUIT BAT.
(SUPER = Voice of Translator: Etienne Ouamouno, son died of Ebola)
“We brought him to the health center. They gave us medicine. But despite this, when we returned home, he died that night.”
(SUPER = Gueckedou, Guinea)
SOME LOCAL OFFICIALS BELIEVE A WOMAN GOT INFECTED IN SIERRA LEONE AND CROSSED THE BOARDER, SPREADING IT TO GUINEA.
(SUPER = Voice of Translator: Abdulrahman Batchily, Regional Ebola coordinator)
“It’s the woman who came, who left a village in Sierra Leone where there were many deaths. And many Guineans are married in that village.”
AND CONSPIRACY THEORIES ABOUND… LIKE….
– WHITE MEN EMPLOYING A VACCINE CAMPAIGN TO KILL THOSE WHO LIVE IN THE FOREST…
– THE GOVERNMENT USING THE EPIDEMIC TO TAKE CONTROL OF PEOPLE AND LAND…
– AND OUTSIDE GOVERNMENTS TRYING TO DELAY ELECTIONS TO FIRST SEAL BUSINESS DEALS.
THESE SUSPICIONS REFLECT A DEEP RESISTANCE AMONG WEST AFRICANS TO FOREIGNERS AND AUTHORITIES… IN A VERY POOR REGION LONG MINED FOR ITS WEALTH OF NATURAL RESOURCES.
(SUPER = Voice of Translator: Julien Gavelle, French anthropologist)
“Rumors and conspiracy theories are raised up and discussed and spread because it’s the only way to connect an uncertain situation where explanation is not clear at all. It’s some kind of survival and intellectual response.”
THE MISTRUST HAS TURNED RESIDENTS AGAINST THOSE TRYING TO COMBAT EBOLA… WHICH HAS NOW KILLED MORE THAN 6-THOUSAND VICTIMS.
SOME VILLAGES IN GUINEA BEAT UP HEALTH CARE WORKERS AND ERECTED BARRICADES TO KEEP THEM OUT.
(SUPER = Voice of Translator: Julien Gavelle, French anthropologist)
“That’s where, for example, anthropologists intervene to do some kind of translation of what is the logic and rational view inside what seems to be totally irrational.”
ANTHROPOLOGISTS SAY BRIDGING THAT DIVIDE, THAT GAP IN UNDERSTANDING… BETWEEN THOSE WHO CAN HELP AND THOSE WHO NEED HELP… IS A KEY TO ENDING EBOLA.
CINDY SHARP, ASSOCIATED PRESS.

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