The role of social behavior in mycobacterial infection management: A case study of pastoral communities of Uganda.

C Kankya, Adrian Muwonge, M Munyeme, E Skjerve, J Oloya, R M Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In sub-Saharan African arid pastoral regions, the socio-behavioral indigenous knowledge mystical systems associated with actions and response by communities to mycobacterial infections in the pastoral ecosystems of Uganda remains largely unknown in Uganda and across the African continent. These drivers are important as they often magnify the problems linked to co-infection with HIV/AIDS. This study sought to determine the socio-behavioral, indigenous knowledge mystical systems and other factors associated with mycobacterial infections and their management among the pastoralist communities. Socio-demographic, environmental, and household-level behavioral and attitudinal variables data was collected through a cross sectional questionnaire-based study administered to a total of 301 pastoralists from Mubende and Nakasongola pastoral districts of Uganda. In addition, key informant interviews and focus group discussions were conducted. Consumption of raw and half cooked animals’ products, drinking untreated water, and smoking as well as sharing of cigarette sticks and drinking straws, coughing and spitting, and excessive alcoholism were the socio-behaviors perceived to expose the pastoralist communities to mycobacterial infections. Stigmatization was related to chronic illness and faith-based perceptions facilitated mycobacterial infection transmission. Involvement in the risky production actions and social livelihood ventures such as charcoal production are perceived as being responsible for mycobacterial infection transmission. High degree of stigmatization, discrimination (S&D) and abandonment of the patients suffering from mycobacterial infections among the pastoralist communities have been revealed. Socio-consumption behaviors were perceived the main routes for acquisition of mycobacterial infections. Pastoralist communities perceived that livestock act as sources of mycobacterial infections and therefore pose a health threat to the humans living at the human-animal interface.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)132-150
Number of pages19
JournalAdvance Tropical Medicine and Public Health International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Cite this