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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Better Infection Than Hunger': A Study of Illness Perceptions With Special Focus on Urinary Schistosomiasis in Northern Tanzania
Authors:Ahlberg, Beth Maina
Mwangi, Rose
Poggensee, Gabriel
Feldmeier, Hermann
Krantz, Ingela
Periodical:African Sociological Review (ISSN 1027-4332)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Tanzania
East Africa
Subjects:women's health
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Health and Nutrition
Medicine, Nutrition, Public Health
Urogenital system
Urinary tract infections
Disease management
Abstract:This study, which is part of a wider research project on the prevalence and manifestations of female genital schistosomiasis (FGS), examines the perceptions, knowledge and beliefs surrounding the disease in two villages in the Masai Plains of Mwanga District, Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania. The study combined focus group discussions, individual interviews and observations as data collection methods. AS FGS presents itself with a variety of symptoms which are not easily recognized as related to FGS, the study focused on symptom recognition. Furthermore, the perceived causes of the disease and health-seeking behaviour of infected women were examined. It was found that all participants were aware of the link between water and infection with FGS. Because the disease is associated with farming, the main livelihood, there was a strong feeling that treatment, whether in hospital or by traditional healers, could not cure the disease permanently. Re-infection was considered inevitable and, as schistosomiasis was said to be less poisonous than malaria, it was felt that there was little choice between being infected and having food. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]