Experiences of Tuberculosis in a Tarai Village, Nepal

Keywords: experiences of tuberculosis, misconception about tuberculosis, perceptions of tuberculosis, Nepal

Abstract

In focus is the experience of being a Tuberculosis (TB) patient in the mid-west Tarai of rural Nepal. The information derives from a longitudinal qualitative study between 2005 to 2017 in one and the same community. The findings show few changes in the experience of being a TB patient. The availability of anti-TB medicine free of cost within the government health services was greatly appreciated. The cause of TB, ways and means of transmissions, and the need for preventive measures, however, were not well understood. In the case of Child-TB, the expectation of numerous visits to the government treatment centre for the picking up of medicines was a strong deterrant. In consequence, most child-TB cases were diagnosed and treated within the private sector. The distribution system of the medicines, particularly within the government system, clearly added to the burden of being a TB patient and much would have been gained had the arrangement been more patient-friendly, a difference which most likely had also resulted in more children being treated within the public services rather than within the money-geared private sector. Various misunderstandings about the cause/s of the disease need to be addressed. And, much would be gained was the central directive of “patient support”, truly implemented and was a true “two-way communication” to take place.

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Author Biographies

Ulla-Britt Engelbrektsson, Shining Hospital INF Surkhet, Nepal.

Ulla-Britt Engelbrektsson (PhD in Social Anthropology, 1979) was Associate Professor (1998-2009) at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and between 2010–2014, she served as a member of the University of Gothenburg’s Global University Initiative. Engelbrektsson’s publications within medical anthropology are focused on socio-cultural aspects of infectious diseases especially Tuberculosis and Leprosy. Currently, she is associated to the Shining Hospital INF Surkhet, Nepal.
Email: ulla-britt.engelbrektsson@inf.org

Madhusudan Subedi, Patan Academy of Heath Sciences,Lalitpur, Nepal

Madhusudan Subedi is Professor and Chairperson of the Department of Community Health Sciences and Co-ordinator of the School of Public Health, Patan Academy of Health Sciences. He is also associated with the Central Department of Sociology, Tribhuvan University, Nepal.
Email: madhusudansubedi@gmail.com

Published
2019-12-29
How to Cite
Engelbrektsson, U.-B., & Subedi, M. (2019). Experiences of Tuberculosis in a Tarai Village, Nepal. Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 13, 1-10. https://doi.org/10.3126/dsaj.v13i0.25890
Section
Articles