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Accepted Paper:

“This disease that followed AIDS”: Hepatitis B and Epidemic Palimpsest in West Nile, northwestern Uganda  
Georgina Pearson (Queen Margaret University) Elizabeth Storer (LSE)

Paper short abstract:

Examining local understandings of, and responses to, hepatitis B in NW Uganda, we chart how knowledge was assembled on this new threat and communal memories invigorated by individualistic vaccination and testing campaigns. We suggest epidemic palimpsest as a framework to consider such responses.

Paper long abstract:

This paper explores local understandings of, and response to, hepatitis B in West Nile, Uganda. We explore trajectories of action as a “new” virus was localised into the everyday world of West Nilers. Drawing on multi-sited ethnographic and interview data we explain how the disease was understood locally, and understandings of the virus through different stages of government-led public health interventions regarding health information, testing and vaccination. At these different stages, we chart how knowledge was assembled in relation to a new viral threat, and how communal memories of trauma where invigorated by individualistic vaccination/ testing campaigns. To manage ambiguities vis-a-vis transmission and the progression of the disease, people understood hepatitis B in relation to experiences of HIV/AIDS. We propose a consideration for both “epidemic palimpsest” as a framework through which to consider communal responses to “new” viral conditions, as well as a nuanced approach to understanding the production of local knowledge.

Panel Heal11
Responsibility to self and others: exploring the social lives of clinical protections in African settings
  Session 1 Monday 29 March, 2021, -