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Resisting control of neglected tropical diseases: dilemmas in the mass treatment of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths in north-west Uganda

Parker, Melissa, Allen, Tim and Hastings, Julie (2008) Resisting control of neglected tropical diseases: dilemmas in the mass treatment of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths in north-west Uganda. Journal of Biosocial Science, 40 (02). pp. 161-181. ISSN 0021-9320

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Abstract

A strong case has recently been made by academics and policymakers to develop national programmes for the integrated control of Africa’s ‘neglected tropical diseases’. Uganda was the first country to develop a programme for the integrated control of two of these diseases: schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths. This paper discusses social responses to the programme in Panyimur, north-west Uganda. It shows that adults are increasingly rejecting free treatment. Resistance is attributed to a subjective fear of side-effects; divergence between biomedical and local understandings of schistosomiasis/bilharzia; as well as inappropriate and inadequate health education. In addition, the current procedures for distributing drugs at a district level are problematic. Additional research was carried out in neighbouring areas to explore the generalizability of findings. Comparable problems have arisen. It is concluded that the national programme will not fulfil its stated objectives of establishing a local demand for mass treatment unless it can establish more effective delivery strategies and promote behavioural change in socially appropriate ways. To do so will require new approaches to social, economic and political aspects of distribution. There are reasons why populations infected with the ‘neglected tropical diseases’ are themselves neglected. Those reasons cannot just be wished away.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJourna...
Additional Information: © 2008 Cambridge University Press
Library of Congress subject classification: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Sets: Departments > International Development
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2010 16:41
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/30641/

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