Contextualising health seeking behaviours for febrile illness: lived experiences of farmers in northern Tanzania

Virhia, J. (2022) Contextualising health seeking behaviours for febrile illness: lived experiences of farmers in northern Tanzania. Health and Place, 73, 102710. (doi: 10.1016/j.healthplace.2021.102710) (PMID:34801785)

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Abstract

Understanding how people seek treatment for febrile illness can provide important insights into when care is sought and under what circumstances. This is includes examining how people engage with health facilities and the barriers to care they experience. However, a focus on individual actions runs the risk of overemphasising the agency of individuals to make apt health decisions while underestimating the ways which health behaviours are circumscribed by their place-specific social, historic and political contexts. Drawing on the experiences of approximately 100 farmers in a small livestock keeping community in northern Tanzania, this study uses biosocial theory of health to better understand how febrile illness is managed among individuals. The paper draws attention to the ways in which health decisions are mediated by individual, intrinsic and extrinsic health system factors. Some extrinsic factors (such as hospital user fees) are legacies of neoliberal healthcare reform policies which continue to have consequences for how people manage febrile illness in Tanzania. The findings highlight the need for considerations of health behaviours to look beyond the individual and to appreciate the role of the wider health landscape in influencing individual choice and agency when seeking treatment for illness.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Virhia, Miss Jennika
Authors: Virhia, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:Health and Place
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1353-8292
ISSN (Online):1873-2054
Published Online:19 November 2021

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190825Social, economic and environmental drivers of zoonoses in Tanzania (SEEDZ)Sarah CleavelandBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/L018926/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
171979Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems ZELS Reducing the risk to livestock and people programme associated studentships - ZELS-ASSarah CleavelandBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/N503563/1Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine