During the West African Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic from 2014 to 2016, a variety of technologies travelled considering the context of the emergency: a highly contagious fast-killing disease outbreak with no known remedy and a rapidly increasing number of cases. The Ebola-Tx clinical trial tested the efficacy of Convalescent Plasma (CP) as a treatment for EVD in Guinea. This paper is based on ethnographic research in the Ebola-Tx trial and focuses on the introduction of a mobile plasma collection centre, referred to as the 'Plasma Mobile', equipped with plasmapheresis and pathogen inactivation technologies, as well as how the transfer itself of this technology entailed complex effects on CP donors as trial participants (i.e. providers of the therapeutic product), directly involved staff and more broadly on the trial implementation as a whole. The transfer led to the emergence of a dimension of hope as CP donors hoped that the plasma would cure and, as providers of the therapeutic, hoped it would decrease their stigmatization and the economic impact of the disease. We conclude that, in light of the intricate effects that the transfer of such health technology can entail-in the localization to the specific context, as well as in the consequences they can have on actors involved in the implementation of such technologies-global health technologies should be put at the services of next epidemic and pandemic (preparedness) on condition that they are accompanied by an understanding of the technologies' own cultural meanings and social understandings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)e0008206
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Bibliographical note


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