Here is the research work of Alexandra Razafindrabe, PhD in Economy, as part of our weekly series Les Papiers de la Fondation, articles written by the researchers that the Foundation supports at the end of their research year. The Papiers de la Fondation, scientific articles of around twenty pages, present the results of their work in the form of working papers. They are written according to academic criteria for specialised or non-specialised audiences, in order to make the knowledge thus created accessible to all interested people and to allow for a broad debate.

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“The influence of socio-economic, environmental, institutional and cultural contexts in the fight against plague in Madagascar”

Alexandra RAZAFINDRABE, PhD in Economy, Researcher at the C3ED-M (Centre d’économie et d’éthique pour l’environnement et le développement à Madagascar)


Characterized by its extreme poverty, Madagascar, the Indian Ocean Great Island, knew an unprecedented plague epidemic in 2017. Though plague has always existed in the country –since 1898-, it has not reached the stage of epidemic for many years. In this framework, we have to look at why this stage has been reached and what factors have accelerated the process. If undoubtedly, the causes provoking the situation are inherent to the extreme poverty the population lives in, the many measures taken to solve the problem have not always been adapted to the local realities though the epidemic has been overcome at last.

The question is: to what extent the socio-economic, environmental, institutional and cultural contexts have impacted on the success of the sensitization campaign in the fight against plague in Madagascar during 2017 epidemic?

We realize that in theory the plague awareness campaign has been successful because the population is able to master in theory the pieces of information about the disease. But in fact, on the practical field, it has not brought the expected positive effects because it has no impact on the population which continues to not apply any required standard of behavior. Besides, the socio-economic spheres (including education) and the cultural and environment ones play a fundamental role in the plague struggle in Madagascar. The educational and cultural domains appear as the keys to control the plague though the education is for the moment largely absent from the fighting system.

Key words: plague, epidemic, awareness, risk, health, culture, tradition

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