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Understanding Narrative Transformations of Ebola in Negotiations of Epidemic Risk

Authors: N. W. Paul, M. Banerjee


Discussing the nexus between global health policy and local practices, this article addresses the recent Ebola outbreak as a role model for narrative co-constructions of epidemic risk. We will demonstrate in how far a theory-driven and methodologically rooted analysis of narrativity can help to improve mechanisms of prevention and intervention whenever epidemic risk needs to be addressed locally in order to contribute to global health. Analyzing the narrative transformation of Ebola, we will also address issues of transcultural problem-solving and of normative questions at stake. In this regard, we seek to contribute to a better understanding of a key question of global health and justice as well as to the underlying ethical questions. By highlighting and analyzing the functions of narratives, this paper provides a translational approach to refine our practices by which we address epidemic risk, be it on the national, the transnational or the global scale.

Keywords: Medical Ethics, Medical Humanities, Ebola, epidemic risk

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