Key considerations: bushmeat in the border areas of South Sudan and DRC

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In the context of the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), May 2019, this brief summarises key considerations about bushmeat (meat derived from wild animals for human consumption)in the context of preparedness activities in South Sudan. The brief detailsthe socio-cultural and socio-economic significance of bushmeat amongst at risk communities and perceived risks of Ebola transmission through bushmeat. Its geographic focusrests on South Sudan’s south-western border with the north-eastern border of the DRC, where Yambio is the state capital and primary population hub. Key considerations and recommendations are tailored for this specific area, and may not be necessarily generalisable for other parts of South Sudan or beyond.

The brief is presented in two sections. ‘Section A’ focuses on bushmeat in light of the immediate risk of Ebola transmission from the active outbreak in the DRC to South Sudan (i.e., cross-border human-to-human transmissionand in relation to the bushmeat trade). ‘Section B’ focuses more broadly on bushmeat in this specific geographic area, and the longer-term risk of a new Ebola or other infectious disease outbreak in South Sudan, as related tolocal bushmeat practices (i.e., unrelated to the current outbreakin DRC). The structure of this brief is designed to separate these issues and to support response partners to differentiate between the priorities for immediate preparedness activities underway in South Sudan and longer-term prevention actions.

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Juliet Bedford

Dr Juliet Bedford is the Founder and Director of Anthrologica, a research-based organisation specialising in applied anthropology in global health (www.anthrologica.com).She holds a D.Phil from the University of Oxford, where she is a Research Affiliate at the School of Anthropology.Juliet is also an Adjunct Professor at the Global Institute of Public Health at New York University and is an Affiliate at the Centre for Evidence in Disability at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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