Bonwitt, J. and Kandeh, M. and Dawson, M. and Ansumana, R. and Sahr, F. and Kelly, A. H. and Brown, H. (2017) 'Participation of women and children in hunting activities in Sierra Leone and implications for control of zoonotic infections.', PLoS neglected tropical diseases., 11 (7). e0005699.
The emergence of infectious diseases of zoonotic origin highlights the need to understand social practices at the animal-human interface. This study provides a qualitative account of interactions between humans and wild animals in predominantly Mende villages of southern Sierra Leone. We conducted fieldwork over 4 months including participant and direct observations, semi-structured interviews (n = 47), spontaneously occurring focus group discussions (n = 12), school essays and informal interviews to describe behaviours that may serve as pathways for zoonotic infection. In this region, hunting is the primary form of contact with wild animals. We describe how these interactions are shaped by socio-cultural contexts, including opportunities to access economic resources and by social obligations and constraints. Our research suggests that the potential for exposure to zoonotic pathogens is more widely distributed across different age, gender and social groups than previously appreciated. We highlight the role of children in hunting, an age group that has previously not been discussed in the context of hunting. The breadth of the "at risk" population forces reconsideration of how we conceptualize, trace and monitor pathogen exposure.
|Full text:||(AM) Accepted Manuscript|
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|Publisher Web site:||https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0005699|
|Publisher statement:||© 2017 Bonwitt et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
|Date accepted:||10 June 2017|
|Date deposited:||15 June 2017|
|Date of first online publication:||27 July 2017|
|Date first made open access:||No date available|
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