Emerging Epidemics: Improving Preparedness in Burkina Faso
The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa showed how rapidly an infectious disease can spread within and across borders. The overall ambition of this research project is to identify key elements for a ‘smart foresighting system’ for early detection of infectious diseases in order to reduce the risk of new international pandemics. By smart we mean an ICT (primarily mobile phones) and Severe Sickness/Verbal Autopsy (SS/VA) system, that draws on existing local perceptions and practices, and involves the local community.
With its location in a politically fragile region and close to three Ebola-affected countries, Burkina Faso is a particularly relevant country for this theme of study.
The project is interdisciplinary, combining anthropology, epidemiology and computer science with strong focus on research capacity building and research based stakeholder engagement.
Partners in the research project:
Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen.
Department of Public Health and Department of Computer Science, University of Copenhagen.
IRSS, Burkina Faso, Université de Ouagadougou.
In the press
23 February 2020: In a comment piece first published in the Danish newspaper Berlingske, Associate Professor Helle Samuelsen and PhD Fellow Pia Juul Bjertrup discuss how the coronavirus is testing confidence in governments and stressing the need for good governance in failed or fragile states.
Tilliden til stater og regeringer sættes på prøve (in Danish)
31 January 2020: Commenting on the coronavirus pandemic in the Danish daily 'Kristeligt Dagblad', Associate Professor Helle Samuelsen discusses the risks of an uncontrolable epidemic in Africa.
Afrika er særligt sårbar i den globale kamp mod coronavirus (in Danish)