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“Unseen” Caregivers: The disproportionate gender balance and role of females in the home-based care of lymphatic filariasis patients in Malawi

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Martindale, Sara, Mackenzie, Charles, Mkwanda, S, Smith, E, Stanton, Michelle ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1754-4894, Molyneux, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8537-7947 and Kelly-Hope, Louise ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3330-7629 (2017) '“Unseen” Caregivers: The disproportionate gender balance and role of females in the home-based care of lymphatic filariasis patients in Malawi'. Frontiers in Women's Health, Vol 2, Issue 2, pp. 1-3.

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Abstract

Objective: This study examines the gender of home-based caregivers for people affected by lymphatic filariasis (LF) lymphoedema.

Methods: In total, 69 LF lymphoedema cases in Malawi were questioned about the assistance they received with a focus on the gender of the caregiver and the type of support provided.

Results: Of the 35 cases who required daily assistance, 27 indicated the gender of the caregiver, of which 20 were female (74.1%), and most commonly daughters, sisters or school-aged girls. This care was usually only provided during episodes of painful disabling acute-dermatolymphangioadenitis (ADLA) attacks. The males who provided care were most commonly husbands.

Conclusion: The role of female caregivers is ‘unseen’ and this has considerable domestic, educational and economic implications. This gender imbalance also poses barriers to Goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically Target 5.4 that aims to recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 880 Filariasis and related conditions (General)
WY Nursing > WY 106 Community health nursing
Faculty: Department: Biological Sciences > Department of Tropical Disease Biology
Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.15761/FWH.1000126
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2018 17:34
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2019 10:55
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/7182

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