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Table 2 Summary of key findings for each global theme

From: “We and the nurses are now working with one voice”: How community leaders and health committee members describe their role in Sierra Leone’s Ebola response

Global theme

Key findings

1. Pre-Ebola community context and respondent activities

• HMCs were active: regular meetings, some fundraising, promotion of health-related behaviors, and engagement with health workers

2. Respondent activities during Ebola

• Manual labour (e.g. building walls for the clinic, cleaning facilities, digging graves, manning checkpoints)

• Administration or outreach (e.g. maintaining records, contact tracing, conducting screenings)

• Some tasks involved navigating tense interactions with other community members

3. Respondent role providing social mediation between health system and community during Ebola

• Explained community concerns and fears to health care workers (e.g. personal protective equipment (PPE) and burial)

• Asked health workers delicate or embarrassing questions on behalf of the community (e.g. whether Ebola could be sexually transmitted)

• Explained the value of practices promoted by health workers to the community (e.g. the need for screening and isolation)

• Sought to build community trust in the health system

4. Respondent sources of motivation and facilitators of action during Ebola

• Intrinsic sources of motivation included a desire to serve and lead, fear of Ebola, and pride/trust in one’s health facility and health providers

• Extrinsic sources included compensation, recognition of the government’s limited capacity, recognition of Ebola’s severity, and NGO support

5. Respondent sources of discouragement and barriers to action during Ebola

• Intrinsic sources of discouragement included sadness, grief, and loneliness, fear of contracting Ebola, concern that the government had forgotten them

• Extrinsic sources included community misconceptions about their payment and community anger at them for “collaborating” with the health system