The Making of Dangerous Communities: The “Peul-Fouta” in Ebola-Weary Senegal

Ato Kwamena Onoma


Epidemics of contagious diseases often motivate the social constitution of “dangerous communities.” These communities are defined as having a high potential to further spread the diseases involved to a wider public. Migrant communities’ links with sick people in places of origin that are badly affected by such diseases ostensibly justify the construction of these communities as epidemic dangers to their places of residence. But this depiction of certain groups as health threats is always grounded in other long-standing narratives about the populations targeted. Such narratives often portray those targeted as radically different from the wider body politic and stigmatise them in multiple ways. The situation of the Peul of Guinean origin in Senegal at the height of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Mano River Basin sheds light on these processes of sociogenesis and their implications for epidemic control and prevention.

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