'Labouring' on the frontlines of global health research: mapping challenges experienced by frontline workers in Africa and Asia

Busisiwe Nkosi, Jennifer Ilo Van Nuil, Deborah Nyirenda, Primus Che Chi, Mira Leonie Schneiders

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


Drawing on the reflections and discussions from a special session at the 2021 Global Health Bioethics Network summer school, this paper has summarised the key challenges faced by Frontline Workers (FWs) across research sites in Africa and Asia in performing the everyday 'body work' entailed in operationalising global health research. Using a 'body work' lens, we specifically explore and map key challenges that FWs face in Africa and Asia and the physical, social, ethical, emotional, and political labour involved in operationalising global health in these settings. The research encounter links with wider social and economic structures, and spatial dimensions and impacts on the FWs' performance and well-being. Yet, FWs' 'body-work' and the embedded emotions during the research encounter remain hidden and undervalued.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Public Health
Number of pages11
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Body work
  • frontline workers
  • everyday ethics
  • research ethics
  • Africa
  • Asia

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