The politics of zoonoses understanding and response

Working Paper

What drives differing responses to zoonotic diseases? Seven new working papers from the STEPS-led Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium consider understandings around ecosystems and health as they relate to four zoonoses in five countries in Africa in order to explore this issue.

The papers investigate how understandings around ecosystems and health are always positioned and partial, deriving from people’s experiences, backgrounds, institutional positions and political-economic interests. Thus issues, dynamics and risks are always seen to be ‘framed’, and open to diverse representations and interpretations. These framings often take the form of ‘narratives’ about problems and possible interventions which drive and justify different intervention and responses – which in turn shape the dynamics of disease and so consequences for poverty and wellbeing.

The political economy of knowledge and policy theme of the Dynamic Drivers of Disease in Africa Consortium has explored these issues in relation to henipavirus infection in Ghana, Rift Valley fever in Kenya, Lassa fever in Sierra Leone and trypanosomiasis in Zambia and Zimbabwe. The following working papers are published under this theme: