ECLIPSE researchers use a range of research methods to gain understanding of the experiences and perceptions of people with CL, community members and healthcare professionals. One of these methodological approaches is ethnography. We carry out ethnographic fieldwork in ECLIPSE communities located in the state of Bahia (Brazil), Tigray region (Ethiopia) and North Central Province (Sri Lanka).
Our ethnography does not focus exclusively on CL, but more broadly on the people, their context, culture and society. The experience of having CL is never restricted to just a single person. It always affects, and is affected by, family, friends, local communities and the wider social, cultural, economic and political context of each affected community. Conducting participant-observation in communtities and engaging in daily activities and their interactions with one another is crucial for us to tease out socially bounded concepts affecting health and well-being. In particular, our ethnographic approach is important to understanding the structural barriers to optimal CL diagnosis and treatment, and it will allow to map out local stigmas and if there are different stigmas at play.
Images from ECLIPSE fieldwork