"When disease strikes in the developing world, like the current Ebola outbreak in Guinea, doctors, nurses and epidemiologists from international organizations fly in to help. So do anthropologists.
Understanding local customs – and fears – can go a long way in getting communities to cooperate with international health care workers, says , a medical anthropologist at Washington State University.
Otherwise medical efforts can prove fruitless, says Hewlett, who was invited to join the Ebola team during a 2000 outbreak in Uganda. There are anthropologists on the current team in Guinea as well."