University of Khartoum

Socio-cultural aspects of leprosy among the Masalit and Hawsa tribes in the Sudan

Socio-cultural aspects of leprosy among the Masalit and Hawsa tribes in the Sudan

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Title: Socio-cultural aspects of leprosy among the Masalit and Hawsa tribes in the Sudan
Author: EL HASSAN, L. A.; Khalil, E.ltahir Awad.G; EL-HASSAN, Ahmed.M
Abstract: Social and cultural factors in¯uencing knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) towards leprosy in two communities in eastern Sudan were studied to determine their effects on treatment seeking and compliance. The study was qualitative using focus small group discussions, personal interviews and direct observation. The target populations were Masalit and Hawsa, the two main tribes in the area. Knowledge about the pathological cause of leprosy was lacking but the clinical manifestations were well recognized, particularly among the Masalit, in whom the disease is more common than the Hawsa. Among the Masalit there was a widely held belief that leprosy was caused by eating meat of the wild pig and a certain type of ®sh. The Hawsa, who are more devout Muslims, do not eat pig and associate leprosy with consumption of two types of ®sh. Between both tribes, the stigma of leprosy was not strong and the degree of rejection was more towards those with severe disease, particularly patients with ulcerated lesions and severe deformities. Patients were cared for by the family and lived in a separate hut within the families' housing compounds. In this remote area where medical services are scarce or nonexistent, those interviewed did not realize that leprosy was treatable by modern medicine. This in¯uenced the treatment-seeking behaviour of patients, who were often treated by spiritual healers and other traditional medicine practices. With the introduction of multidrug therapy and health education of patients and society, many more patients are now seeking medical treatment, indicating a change in health seeking behaviour.
URI: http://khartoumspace.uofk.edu/123456789/17216
Date: 2015-11-18


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