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The Politics of FearMédecins sans Frontières and the West African Ebola Epidemic$

Michiel Hofman and Sokhieng Au

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624477.001.0001

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(p.xi) Contributors

(p.xi) Contributors

The Politics of Fear
Oxford University Press


  • Michiel Hofman works as senior humanitarian specialist for MSF, based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, involved in training, research, and publications in the humanitarian sector. First working with MSF in 1993, he has served as MSF Country Director in many countries, most recently in Russia and Afghanistan, and as Operations Director for MSF in Amsterdam. He co-founded the Antares Foundation, a Dutch nonprofit organization that supports local NGOs in providing psychosocial support for staff working in high-stress environments.

  • Sokhieng Au is a member of the program staff with the Advocacy and Analysis Unit, MSF. Also an independent research fellow at Katholieke University Leuven, she has done research on a wide range of topics on colonial and post-colonial health, history, and society. She is the author of Mixed Medicines: Health and Culture in French Colonial Cambodia (University of Chicago Press, 2011). She most recently co-edited Bodies Beyond Borders: Moving Anatomies Between 1750 and 1950, KU Leuven Press (in press).


  • Annick Antierens is an anesthesiologist and emergency doctor with a degree in public health. She has been working with MSF since 1995 in a variety of contexts and medical problematics. She coordinated the medical referents and research for four years and from 2014 she has been the leader of the MSF platform around Ebola experimental products and Ebola survivors. (p.xii)

  • Adia Benton is an assistant professor of anthropology and African studies at Northwestern University. She has written extensively about the cultural politics of global health and humanitarianism. Her first book, HIV Exceptionalism: Development Through Disease in Sierra Leone, was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2015.

  • Jean-Francois Caremel is a socio-anthropologist and postdoctoral researcher at CERMES3 (INSERM-CNRS) (Paris) and associate researcher at LASDEL (Niger). His research focuses on the dynamics of medical innovations in humanitarian medicine and how they feed into the politics of global health.

  • Patricia Carrick is a family nurse practitioner who has worked intermittently with MSF since 2007. She comes from a ranching family in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Montana in the United States, where her husband, David Hagenbarth, holds her world together when she is away.

  • Alice Desclaux is a medical anthropologist and a senior researcher in the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement based in Dakar, where she has done extensive work on anthropology and the ethics of HIV, pharmaceuticals, medical research, and women and health, before turning to Ebola in Senegal and Guinea.

  • Moustapha Diop is professor of anthropology in Université Général Lansana Conté-Sonfonia at Conakry and scientific director of Laboratoire d’Analyse Socio-Anthropologique de Guinée. He has done extensive work on the juridical and anthropological aspects of the land property system and other aspects of contemporary Guinea. He was involved in several social research studies on Ebola during the outbreak.

  • Stéphane Doyon has been head of the Dakar Regional Unit for MSF OCBA since April 2013. He has been involved in representation tasks for MSF in Dakar related to this regional Ebola outbreak and led the MSF response in Senegal when a case emerged in August 2014.

  • Sylvain Landry B. Faye is a socio-anthropologist and a researcher/lecturer in the sociology department of the Université Cheikh Anta DIOP (Dakar Sénégal). Having received his PhD in social and cultural anthropology from the Université Victor Segalen de Bordeaux, he specializes in the anthropology of health. His current research focuses on sociocultural and historical aspects of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and community engagement practices in the framework of humanitarian crisis management.

  • Lindis Hurum has been with MSF since 2006, working in more than 15 different humanitarian crises. In 2014 she was part of the Emergency Unit in OCB, (p.xiii) and during the West African Ebola epidemic, she was the emergency coordinator in Monrovia during the first two months of the MSF intervention. She has a communication background and holds a master’s degree in disaster management from Copenhagen University.

  • Thomas Kratz is a physician with field experience with MSF in treating Lassa fever and Ebola virus disease. He is currently working as a research associate in the Federal Information Centre for Biological Threats and Special Pathogens at Robert Koch Institut, Berlin, Germany.

  • Prince Lahai is a trained certificate nurse who worked throughout the Ebola epidemic in an Ebola treatment center in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. He is an Ebola survivor. He lives with his mother, his partner, and their three children. He is a leader in his District Survivors’ Group and is seeking work in his profession as a nurse.

  • Allie Tua Lappia graduated as a brand-new community health officer from Njala University in Bo, Sierra Leone, in June 2014, shortly after the Ebola epidemic surged across the border from Guinea into Sierra Leone. His first job as a health worker was in an MSF-run Ebola treatment center, where he worked until it closed. He plans to begin medical school in fall 2016.

  • Duncan McLean holds a PhD in history and divides his time between humanitarian work and academia. He has managed operations within MSF in both field and headquarters starting in 2002. He has also contributed to various publications, including the International Crisis Group, and currently lectures in the history of disease and colonialism at Charles University and the Anglo-American University in Prague.

  • João Nunes is a lecturer in international relations at the University of York, United Kingdom. His research interests are health security, neglected diseases, and Brazilian health policy. He is the author of Security, Emancipation and the Politics of Health (Routledge) and of articles in the journals Third World Quarterly, Review of International Studies, Security Dialogue, and Contemporary Politics. He has a PhD from Aberystwyth University and was a research fellow at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Warwick.

  • Tim O’Dempsey is a senior clinical lecturer in tropical medicine at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom. He worked as a clinician in various locations and for a variety of organizations in Sierra Leone during the Ebola epidemic between July 2014 and December 2015. At the time of the account in this book, he was on secondment from LSTM to WHO as WHO clinical lead at the Ebola treatment center in Kenema. (p.xiv)

  • Ramatou Ouedraogo is an anthropologist who holds a postdoctoral position at the Fondation des Maisons des Sciences de l’Homme de Paris. She is also associate researcher in the laboratory Les Afriques dans le Monde at IEP-Bordeaux. Her research focuses on reproductive health, young people in Africa, infectious diseases (HIV, Ebola), gender, and intergenerational relationships.

  • Mit Philips is the health policy and medical advocacy advisor in the Analysis and Advocacy Unit at MSF. Her work focuses on HIV/AIDS, health financing and financial barriers to health care, and global health and health systems policies. She was a medical doctor and coordinator with MSF in the field for 15 years, serving later as director of operations in Brussels.

  • Annette Rid is senior lecturer in bioethics and society at King’s College London. She works in a variety of areas in bioethics, including research ethics, clinical ethics, justice in health and health care, and ethics in transplantation medicine. Her publications on the West African Ebola epidemic include “Ethical considerations of experimental interventions in the Ebola outbreak” (with Ezekiel Emanuel; Lancet, 2014) and “Ethical rationale for the Ebola ‘ring vaccination’ trial design” (with Franklin Miller; American Journal of Public Health, 2015).

  • Maud Santantonio is a clinical doctor working with Samusocial, a Belgian association that provides social services, including medical care, to the homeless. After receiving her MD in 2011, she worked for five months in a primary healthcare center in Mayotte before joining MSF. She worked from 2013 to 2015 on various missions with MSF. She remains committed to working with disadvantaged populations both in Europe and abroad.

  • Armand Sprecher is an emergency physician and epidemiologist who has worked with MSF since 1997. He has been involved with filovirus outbreak response since 2000, including the outbreaks in Uganda in 2000, Angola in 2005, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2007, and the outbreak in West Africa. Alongside filovirus disease issues, he also works on health informatics. He has also worked with the International Medical Corps and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Epidemic Intelligence Service.