Anthropologists providing advice on how to engage with crucial socio-cultural and political dimensions of the Ebola outbreak and build locally-appropriate interventions. This site closed to new material at the end of the West African Ebola epidemic but much of the material it carries is of general relevance to new Ebola epidemics including the current outbreak in DRC.
There have been numerous recent analyses of the different manifestations of ‘resistance’ and ‘reticence’ that continue to be critical in Guinea. The socio-historical context that has contributed to deep-rooted mistrust of the State and authority (a sense of ‘abandonment’ [the West has only returned to intervene in Guinea to ‘count cases’ and international actors will again abandon the country when cases are ‘acceptably low’]; heavy-handed or repressive interventions; the perception that elites treat people as if they are disposable and unworthy etc.) is well recognised. Continue reading →
This paper seeks to understand the fear many Guineans feel towards Ebola response initiatives and why the educators, doctors and burial teams have sometimes encountered resistance, occasionally violent. Resistance has been catastrophic for the epidemic, preventing treatment, contact tracing and quarantine, permitting its spread. The paper sketches a history of dissent and violence during the epidemic before showing how some actions that Ebola response teams interpret as ‘resistance’ are less actions ‘against’ Ebola response, than actions that have their own cultural logics. But the paper Continue reading →