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“ Honestly, this problem has affected me a lot”: a qualitative exploration of the lived experiences of people with chronic respiratory disease in Sudan and Tanzania

Egere, Uzochukwu ORCID:, Shayo, Elizabeth, Chinouya, Martha, Taegtmeyer, Miriam ORCID:, Ardrey, Jane ORCID:, Mpagama, Stella, Ntinginya, Nyanda Elias, Ahmed, Rana, Hussein, El Hafiz, Sony, Asma El, Wingfield, Tom ORCID:, Obasi, Angela ORCID: and Tolhurst, Rachel ORCID: (2023) '“ Honestly, this problem has affected me a lot”: a qualitative exploration of the lived experiences of people with chronic respiratory disease in Sudan and Tanzania'. BMC Public Health, Vol 23, Issue 1, e485.

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Background: Over 500 million people live with chronic respiratory diseases globally and approximately 4 million of these, mostly from the low- and middle-income countries including sub-Saharan Africa, die prematurely every year. Despite high CRD morbidity and mortality, only very few studies describe CRDs and little is known about the economic, social and psychological dimensions of living with CRDs in sub-Saharan Africa. We aimed to gain an in-depth understanding of the social, livelihood and psychological dimensions of living with CRD to inform management of CRDs in Sudan and Tanzania.
Method: We conducted 12 in-depth interviews in 2019 with people with known or suspected CRD and 14 focus group discussions with community members in Gezira state, Sudan and Dodoma region, Tanzania, to share their understanding and experience with CRD. The data was analysed using thematic framework analysis.
Results: People with CRD in both contexts reported experiences under two broad themes: impact on economic wellbeing and impact on social and psychological wellbeing. Capacity to do hard physical work was significantly diminished, resulting in direct and indirect economic impacts for them and their families. Direct costs were incurred while seeking healthcare, including expenditures on transportation to health facility and procurement of diagnostic tests and treatments, whilst loss of working hours and jobs resulted in substantial indirect costs. Enacted and internalised stigma leading to withdrawal and social exclusion was described by participants and resulted partly from association of chronic cough with tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. In Sudan, asthma was described as having negative impact on marital prospects for young women and non-disclosure related to stigma was a particular issue for young people. Impaired community participation and restrictions on social activity led to psychological stress for both people with CRD and their families.
Conclusion: Chronic respiratory diseases have substantial social and economic impacts among people with CRD and their families in Sudan and Tanzania. Stigma is particularly strong and appears to be driven partly by association of chronic cough with infectiousness. Context-appropriate measures to address economic impacts and chronic cough stigma are urgently needed as part of interventions for chronic respiratory diseases in these sub-Saharan African contexts.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WF Respiratory System > WF 140 Diseases of the respiratory system (General)
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2023 13:39
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2023 13:17


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