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Urbanisation, the Peri-Urban Growth and Zoonotic Disease

Ebola has had significant, negative effects in the rapidly expanding, unregulated areas of peri-urban and urban West Africa. The residents of these areas maintain vital connections with rural populations while intermingling with and living in close proximity to urban and elite populations. These interconnections fuel the spread of Ebola. The degradation of natural resources, temporary […]

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Return of the Rebel: Legacies of War and Reconstruction in West Africa’s Ebola Epidemic

The spread of Ebola in West Africa centres on a region with a shared recent history of transnational civil war and internationally led post-conflict reconstruction efforts. This legacy of conflict and shortcomings in the reconstruction efforts are key to understanding how the virus has spread. The dynamics of warfare tied into and accentuated the state’s […]

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“We Know Who is Eating the Ebola Money!”: Corruption, the State, and the Ebola Response

Sierra Leonean production of knowledge about Ebola was, in large part, production of knowledge about “who ate the Ebola money.” This article traces people’s responses to the Ebola crisis through a number of different moments, at each point reflecting on how their concerns about how Ebola money was being spent illuminate their expectations of their […]

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Structural Drivers of Vulnerability to Zoonotic Disease in Africa

This paper argues that addressing the underlying structural drivers of disease vulnerability is essential for a ‘One Health’ approach to tackling zoonotic diseases in Africa. Through three case studies-trypanosomiasis in Zimbabwe, Ebola and Lassa Fever in Sierra Leone and Rift Valley fever in Kenya-we show how political interests, commercial investments and conflict and securitization all […]

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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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Zoonotic Diseases: Who Gets Sick, and Why? Explorations from Africa

Global risks of zoonotic disease are high on policy agendas. Increasingly, Africa is seen as a ‘hotspot’, with likely disease spillovers from animals to humans. This paper explores the social dynamics of disease exposure, demonstrating how risks are not generalised, but are related to occupation, gender, class and other dimensions of social difference. Through case […]

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The Social and Political Lives of Zoonotic Disease Models: Narratives, Science and Policy

Zoonotic diseases currently pose both major health threats and complex scientific and policy challenges, to which modelling is increasingly called to respond. In this article we argue that the challenges are best met by combining multiple models and modelling approaches that elucidate the various epidemiological, ecological and social processes at work. These models should not […]

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