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The Socio-Economic Impacts of Ebola in Sierra Leone : Results from a High Frequency Cell Phone Survey, Round 3

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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Sierra Leone
2015-06-23T19:57:24Z | 2015-06-23T19:57:24Z | 2015-06-15

As of June 7, 2015, Sierra Leone had reported more than 12,900 cases of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), and over 3,900 deaths since the outbreak began. In recent months, substantial progress has been made, with a maximum of 15 new cases per week reported following a nationwide lockdown and information campaign at the end of March. The Government of Sierra Leone, with support from the World Bank Group, has been conducting mobile phone surveys with the aim of capturing the key socio-economic effects of the virus. Three rounds of data collection have been conducted, in November 2014, January-February 2015, and May 2015. The survey was given to household heads for whom cell phone numbers were recorded during the nationally-representative Labor Force Survey conducted in July and August 2014. Overall, 66 percent of the 4,199 households sampled in that survey had cell phones, although this coverage was uneven across the country, with higher levels in urban areas (82 percent) than rural areas (43 percent). Of those with cell phones, 51 percent were surveyed in all three rounds, and 79 percent were reached in at least one round. The results for the third round of the survey, which contacted 1,715 households, focus mainly on employment, agriculture, food security and prices, and health service utilization, covering predominantly urban areas where cell phone coverage is highest, but including rural areas as much as possible given the sample available.

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