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Understanding Social Resistance to the Ebola Response in the Forest Region of the Republic of Guinea: An Anthropological Perspective

Why did Ebola response initiatives in the Upper Guinea Forest Region regularly encounter resistance, occasionally violent? Extending existing explanations concerning local and humanitarian “culture” and “structural violence,” and drawing on previous anthropological fieldwork and historical and documentary research, this article argues that Ebola disrupted four intersecting but precarious social accommodations that had hitherto enabled radically […]

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Comparison of Social Resistance to Ebola Response in Sierra Leone and Guinea Suggests Explanations Lie in Political Configurations not Culture

Sierra Leone and Guinea share broadly similar cultural worlds, straddling the societies of the Upper Guinea Coast with Islamic West Africa. There was, however, a notable difference in their reactions to the Ebola epidemic. As the epidemic spread in Guinea, acts of violent or everyday resistance to outbreak. Reducing spread repeatedly followed, undermining public health […]

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Historical Parallels, Ebola Virus Disease and Cholera: Understanding Community Distrust and Social Violence with Epidemics

In the three West African countries most affected by the recent Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak, resistance to public health measures contributed to the startling speed and persistence of this epidemic in the region. But how do we explain this resistance, and how have people in these communities understood their actions? By comparing these recent […]

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Missing Bodies and Secret Funerals: The Production of “Safe and Dignified Burials” in the Liberian Ebola Crisis

During the height of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, public health responders and the international media focused on dead bodies as sites of disease transmission when early contact tracing discovered the relationship between attendance at funerals and emerging clusters of new cases. Anthropologists were central to the emergence of new protocols for “safe and […]

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