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Free Content Tribal differences in perception of tuberculosis: a possible role in tuberculosis control in Arusha, Tanzania

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SETTING: Arusha, Tanzania.

OBJECTIVE: To determine tribal differences in knowledge and practices that might influence tuberculosis control.

METHOD: Twenty-seven villages were selected randomly out of 242 villages in four districts. In each village, a general and a livestock keeping group were selected at random. The households were home-visited and 426 family members were interviewed.

RESULTS: On average, 40% of respondents practised habits that might expose them to both bovine and human tuberculosis. The Barabaig tribe had a significantly higher number of respondents (50%, χ2(2) = 5.1, P = 0.024) who did not boil milk. Eating uncooked meat or meat products was practised by 17.9% of all respondents. The habit was practised more by Iraqw (21.1%, χ2(2) = 6.9, P = 0.008) and Barabaig (31.6%, χ2(2) = 5.6, P = 0.016) than other tribes. About 75% of the respondents had a poor knowledge of tuberculosis.

CONCLUSION: All tribes had habits and beliefs that might expose them to both bovine and human tuberculosis. The Iraqw and Barabaig tribes practised such habits more than other tribes. Knowledge of tuberculosis was limited in all tribes.
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Keywords: perception; tribes; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; and the National Institute for Medical Research, Muhimbili Station, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 2: Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway 3: Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogro, Tanzania 4: Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom 5: Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Publication date: 2003-10-01

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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