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 and IRSS, Burkina Faso, Université de Ouagadougou.