ESR Project 1

Epidemics and Health Security: Threats and Opportunities in One Health

 Supervisors Lotte Meinert (Aarhus University) and Paul Wenzel Geissler (University of Oslo)

Epidemic disease outbreaks and disease control and management have human security repercussions. This PhD project will describe and compare the development and effects of one or several selected epidemics (e.g. Ebola, AIDS, TB, Qfever or brucellosis) in a part of East Africa in a human security perspective, including health systems, infrastructures, environment, demography and social structures. The study will explore retrospectively and ethnographically the surveillance, recognition and management of epidemics and endemic diseases among policy makers, health, professionals, patients and families. This includes exploring syndemic effects - interacting diseases and interacting social and environmental conditions that shape the spread of disease.

Based on ethnographic fieldwork among health planners, medical professionals and health care institutions, and/or among patients and families, the project may also involve citizen research approaches to complement existing epidemic response structures.

The project will be based on 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork, including 3 months of secondment to a non-academic institution working in the field of disease control, during which the PhD student will take part in on-going research and intervention programs. One possibility for secondment is the Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).



       Kenya, Provincial Laboratory of the Division of Vector Borne Diseases, 2007. Photo: Wenzel Geissler