Forskningsseminarium 5 i Kulturantropologi. Blind spots in global health: Lassa Fever, Science and the making of neglect in Sierra Leone

  • Datum: –12.00
  • Plats: Zoomlänk ges vid registrering
  • Föreläsare: Dr Hannah Brown (Department of Anthropology, Durham University)
  • Arrangör: Institutionen för kulturantropologi och etnologi
  • Kontaktperson: Claudia Merli
  • Seminarium

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Please be ready to enter the waiting room 10 minutes before seminar starts.

Organiser: Dr Claudia Merli (Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology)


For more than 50 years people in parts of West Africa have lived in the presence of a deadly virus that has symptoms which are similar to Ebola.  You may have never heard of Lassa Fever, even though this virus has killed many more people than Ebola and places a huge burden upon health systems in West Africa.  Generations of African, North American and European scientists and health workers have tried to fight Lassa Fever, and research and responses to the disease have received substantial investment.  Yet the disease remains ‘neglected’; people who live in the region continue to be at risk from Lassa Fever and unlikely to receive good care and treatment in the event of infection.  This talk is based on an ongoing collaborative ethnographic book project which argues that, counterintuitively, scientific investments into Lassa Fever have helped to produce the very neglect that they aim to alleviate.  I will present examples from fieldwork on laboratory science and ecological science on Lassa fever, and the implications of this work for health systems in order to explore intersections between knowledge production, scientific attention, health infrastructure, and the unintended making of neglect.