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OnderzoekUrban and Regional Studies InstitutePopulation Research Centre

Health Seeking Behavior in the Context of Epidemiological Transition in Tanzania: a case of Malaria and Diabetes

Principal researcher

Emmy Metta

Type of research

PhD project

Supervisors

prof. Inge Hutter

dr. Hinke Haisma

Collaboration

Ifakara Health Institute

Summary

The changing patterns and cause of diseases from acute infectious and deficiency diseases to chronic non communicable diseases have laid most of the Sub Saharan African (SSA) countries into the double burden of diseases. Infectious diseases such as malaria have constantly affected the population of SSA. With changes in epidemiological, nutritional and demographic transitions tied with increasing life expectancy, poverty, urbanization and globalization, non-communicable diseases like diabetes emerges to pose a second threat to these communities. Indeed, while malaria remains a number one killer disease accounting for 90% deaths in SSA, 80% of the 300 million worldwide diabetic people are living in developing countries.

This picture of SS Africa also applies to Tanzania. Infectious and non-communicable diseases (NCD) are co-existing. For example, 90% of the Tanzanian population is at risk of malaria leading to 14 – 17 million hospital visits each year. While the government still struggles with the control and management of malaria, diabetes emerges as another public health threat to the Tanzanian population. More than one million people are reported to live with type 2 Diabetes. Coupled with the poor health system and diagnostic facilities diabetic statistics are expected to be even higher. Little is known on people’s health seeking behavior for the emerging NCDs in the context of the existing infectious diseases. This study seeks to understand from the people themselves, their experiences with malaria and diabetes and the meanings they attach to these diseases, how they respond to in times of illnesses and the reasons for the responses they make.

Progress

Currently on initiation of the study and developing study proposal.

Last modified:10 March 2014 4.29 p.m.