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Research Urban and Regional Studies Institute PRC

Health Seeking Behavior in the Context of Epidemiological Transition in Tanzania. A case of Malaria and Diabetes in Kilombero District, Morogoro Region

Principal researcher

Emmy Onifasi Metta

Type of research



Prof. dr. Inge Hutter

Dr. ir. Hinke Haisma

Dr. Ajay Bailey


The changing patterns and cause of diseases from acute infectious and deficiency diseases to chronic non communicable diseases (NCDs) 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 the changes in epidemiological, nutritional and demographic transitions tied with increasing life expectancy, poverty, urbanization and globalization, other diseases like diabetes emerges to pose another threat. 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.

Tanzania is no exception infectious and NCDs are co-existing. For instance, malarial remains the leading cause of suffering exposing 14 – 17 million Tanzanians to health facilities yearly. As the government still struggles with the control and management of malaria, diabetes emerges as another public health threat. Reports indicate that more than one million Tanzanians are living with type 2 Diabetes. Coupled with the poor health system and diagnostic facilities diabetic statistics are expected to be higher. Understanding of the socio-cultural and behavioral aspects influencing health seeking behavior becomes important for determining the uptake and outcome of the control measures in place. This study will use both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods 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.

Last modified:07 August 2020 3.00 p.m.