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Continuity and rupture in crisis: from Ebola to COVID-19 in Sierra Leone and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

James, Myfanwy ORCID: 0000-0001-7194-1287, Mansaray, Anthony, Omega Thige, Frederic, Mafinda, Mabel, Kambale Kasonia, Kennedy, Kahehero Paluku, Joel, D. Timbo, Alie, Karenzi, Lina, Ntabala, Ferdinand, Tindanbil, Daniel, Leigh, Bailah, Kavunga-Membo, Hugo, Watson-Jones, Deborah, Gallagher, Katherine and Enria, Luisa (2023) Continuity and rupture in crisis: from Ebola to COVID-19 in Sierra Leone and the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Global Public Health, 18 (1). ISSN 1744-1692

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Identification Number: 10.1080/17441692.2023.2259959

Abstract

This article examines the experience of healthcare professionals working in primary healthcare provision during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in North Kivu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in Kambia District, Sierra Leone. Drawing on ethnographic observation, interviews and focus groups, we explore everyday narratives of ‘crisis’ in these two regions which had recently seen Ebola epidemics. In describing the impact of COVID-19 on their life, work, and relationships with patients, healthcare workers made sense of the pandemic in relation to broader experiences of structural economic and political crisis, as well as differing experiences of recent Ebola epidemics. There were contradictory experiences of rupture and continuity: whilst COVID-19 disrupted routine health provision and exacerbated tensions with patients, the pandemic was also described as continuity, interacting with broader structural problems and longer-term experiences of ‘crisis.’ In effect, healthcare workers experienced the COVID-19 pandemic at the crossroads between the exceptional and the everyday, where states of exception brought by emergency measures shed new light on long-standing tensions and structural crisis.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author(s)
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 15:24
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2024 21:54
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/120260

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