Guidance materials from 2014 to 2019 on nutritional care for Ebola patients in Ebola Treatment Units: An analysis

Mija Ververs, Cecilia Vorfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the inclusion and exclusion of nutritional content in guidance materials related to nutritional care for hospitalised Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) patients of any age with the aim to provide recommendations for future revised nutritional care guidelines in Ebola Treatment Units (ETU). Design: Qualitative and quantitative analyses of ETU protocols and other guidance materials were conducted. Materials were obtained from practitioners, their organisations and governments active in EVD outbreaks since 2014. Setting: Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Democratic Republic of Congo. Results: Guidance materials showed a wide variety of topics. Most contained information on different feeding phases during illness, the use of specialised products, what and how to feed children aged 0-23 months, and meal and snack frequency for different age groups. Most materials lacked guidance on how to assess or accommodate patients' dietary preferences, how to obtain feedback on nutritional care from patients or how to assess whether patients need feeding support. These aspects are particularly relevant to prevent deterioration of the patients' nutritional status. There was limited guidance on operational aspects of food preparation and provision. Conclusions: Since 2014, numerous materials have been developed by organisations and governments on nutritional support in ETU. Although every EVD outbreak response must be contextualised because of the complexity of EVD and its case management, it is important to resolve technical differences and to provide comprehensive and more practical guidance. The findings of this study may inform future revised guidelines from normative UN organisations and governments of countries affected by EVD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-145
Number of pages7
JournalPublic health nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Ebola
  • Ebola Treatment Unit
  • Guidance material
  • Nutrition
  • Nutritional care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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