Social Science in Health: A neglected approach to tackling infectious diseases and Anti-Microbial resistance in Africa.

Author(s): Dr Elizabeth H Shayo , Prof. Mark Rweyemamu , Private: Peter Mangesho , Private: Janeth George

How social sciences are invisible when addressing infectious disease epidemics and Anti Microbial Resistance

It has been recognized that diseases are not exclusively determined by biological factors but are also socially constructed. Expertise outside traditional biomedical and epidemiological disciplines are needed in order to enhance responsiveness and inclusiveness in the interventions to address them [1, 2, 3]. The biggest challenge institutions face in coordinating emergency responses is the lack of attention paid to contextual factors related to epidemics and their root causes. To effectively tackle epidemic diseases, there is a need to apply social science approaches that will facilitate an understanding of the social and contextual determinants of disease transmission.

Social science in health plays a significant role in understanding the factors that contribute to the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the context of One Health. It entails a holistic engagement with social, cultural, historical, economic, and political factors with a particular focus on the way people (individuals, families, communities, healthcare workers, local government, humanitarian responders and others) interact with animals and their environment, experience, engage and negotiate their circumstances.

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