Fortunately, the international community has made a more concerted effort to include anthropologists as part of the teams that are formulating and implementing the response to the current Zika outbreak. Here are 3 examples of how anthropologists are contributing to these important efforts:
2. Participating in PAHO’s Zika Ethics Consultation
In early April, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) organized a consultation aimed at analyzing the ethical challenges related to the Zika outbreak, taking into account the lessons learned during the 2014 Ebola outbreak. During the consultation, participants developed Ethics Guidance on Key Issues Raised by the Outbreak, which identified the ethical duties associated with health care delivery, public health interventions, and research in the context of the outbreak.
3. Preparing Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice (KAP) Surveys
A Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice (KAP) survey is a representative study of a specific population to collect information on what is known, believed, and done in relation to a particular topic. In most KAP surveys, data are collected orally by an interviewer using a structured, standardized questionnaire.
Anthropologists supported WHO’s development of a KAP survey about Zika virus and its suspected complications, which is intended to serve as a means of rapidly obtaining valuable and insightful information in order to tailor interventions to better address people’s needs at community level. Before governments, non-profit organizations, and other actors administer the survey, they are able to adapt it for the specific country’s or community’s context.
The views reflected in this expert column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.