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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 publication




Journal article


Global public health

Publication Date



1 - 11


Africa Health Research Institute, Durban, South Africa.