Health-seeking behaviour among adults in the context of the epidemiological transition in Southeastern Tanzania: A focus on malaria and diabetes

Emmy Onifasi Metta

    Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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    Abstract

    Health-seeking behaviour among adults in the context of epidemiological transition in Southeastern Tanzania: a focus on malaria and diabetes
    This study set out to assess cultural aspects shaping health-seeking behaviour for malaria and diabetes among adults in Tanzania, a country undergoing the epidemiological transition. The research was conducted in a rural district in which malaria has been a predominant cause of illness and which increasingly experiences diabetes as an emergent cause of ill health. The study examined how cultural aspects shape health-seeking behaviour. The theoretical insights of D’Andrade’s concept of Cultural Schemas and the Health Belief Model (HBM) were applied to guide a line of inquiry for the research.
    The study showed that malaria self-care is commonly practiced, which can be explained by the long-standing knowledge about the illness within this community. Unlike malaria, however, diabetes is a relatively new condition and the knowledge about its signs and symptoms is limited. People in this setting used the prevailing cultural meaning system regarding malaria to interpret the emerging diabetes symptoms. Anti-malarial medicines were often used as initial responses to diabetes symptoms. Failure by patients and health professionals to interpret the emerging symptoms frequently led to consultations with traditional healers and to association of the symptoms with witchcraft. Malaria services are easily accessed in the primary health facilities, whereas patients could hardly obtain diabetes services; this unavailability of services – and knowledge – proved to be an obstacle to the proper use of medication. The study shows that health-seeking behaviour for malaria and diabetes is shaped by cultural, individual, and health facility factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Haisma, Hinke, Supervisor
    • Bailey, Ajay, Co-supervisor
    • Kessy, Flora, Co-supervisor, External person
    Award date10-Mar-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Publisher
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-8634-8
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8633-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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