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Consumer perceptions and reported wild and domestic meat and fish consumption behavior during the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, West Africa

Duonamou, Lucie, Konate, Alexandre, Djego-Djossou, Sylvie, Mensah, Guy Apollinaire, Xu, Jiliang, Humle, Tatyana (2020) Consumer perceptions and reported wild and domestic meat and fish consumption behavior during the Ebola epidemic in Guinea, West Africa. PeerJ, . ISSN 2167-8359. (In press) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:81511)

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Abstract

The handling, capturing, butchering, and transportation of wildmeat can increase the risk of zoonoses, including the Ebola virus disease (EVD). Guinea, West Africa, experienced a catastrophic outbreak of EVD between 2013-2016. This study aimed to understand local people’s sources of information concerning EVD, their perceptions of potential wildlife carriers of EVD and their meat and fish consumption behavior during this period. A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to 332 participants in two urban centers (N=209) and three villages (N=123) between January 3 to March 30, 2015 in the prefecture of Lola in southeastern Guinea. Chi-square analyses revealed that, in rural areas, awareness missions represented the main source of information about EVD (94.3%), whereas in urban settings such missions (36.1%), as well as newspapers (31.6%) and radio (32.3%) were equally mentioned. Bats (30.1% and 79.4%), chimpanzees (16.3% and 48.8%) and monkeys (13.0% and 53.1%) were the most commonly cited potential agents of EVD in both rural and urban areas respectively, while the warthog (2.3% rural and 6.5% urban), crested porcupine (1.7% rural and 10.7% urban), duiker (1.19% rural and 2.6% urban) and the greater cane rat (1.1% rural and 9.5% urban) were also cited but to a lesser extent. However, 66.7% of rural respondents compared to only 17.2% in the urban area did not consider any of these species as potential carriers of the Ebola virus. Nonetheless, a fifth of our respondents reported not consuming any of these species altogether during the EVD outbreak. Among all seven faunal groups mentioned, a significant reduction in reported consumption during the Ebola outbreak was only noted for bats (before: 78.3% and during: 31.9%) and chimpanzees (before: 31.6% and during: 13.5%). Automatic Chi-Square Interaction Detection (CHAID) analysis revealed that the belief that bats or chimpanzees were associated with EVD or not had a significant effect respectively on their non-consumption or continued consumption during the EVD outbreak. However, only 3.9% of respondents reported shifting to alternative protein sources such as domestic meat or fish specifically to avoid EVD. Only 10.8% reported consuming more domestic meat during the EVD outbreak compared with before; affordability and availability were the main reported reasons for why people did not consume more domestic meat and why two thirds reported consuming more fish. While increased domestic meat consumption was linked to the belief that duikers, the most commonly consumed wildmeat before the epidemic, were associated with EVD, increased fish consumption was not predicted by any EVD related factors. Our study revealed deep-rooted false beliefs among rural respondents and constraints when it comes to access to alternative protein sources such as domestic meat. Our findings emphasize the urgent need for greater consideration of the relationship between socio-economic context, food security, and public health.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Tatyana Humle
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2020 12:26 UTC
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2020 12:32 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/81511 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Humle, Tatyana: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1919-631X
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