LSTM Home > LSTM Research > LSTM Online Archive

We Remember… Elders' Memories and Perceptions of Sleeping Sickness Control Interventions in West Nile, Uganda.

Kovacic, Vanja, Tirados, Inaki ORCID:, Esterhuizen, Johan, Mangwiro, Clement T N, Lehane, Mike, Torr, Steve ORCID: and Smith, Helen ORCID: (2016) 'We Remember… Elders' Memories and Perceptions of Sleeping Sickness Control Interventions in West Nile, Uganda.'. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol 10, Issue 6, e0004745.

PLoS_Neg_Trop_10_6_e0004745_We Remember.PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (566kB) | Preview


The traditional role of African elders and their connection with the community make them important stakeholders in community-based disease control programmes. We explored elders' memories related to interventions against sleeping sickness to assess whether or not past interventions created any trauma which might hamper future control operations. Using a qualitative research framework, we conducted and analysed twenty-four in-depth interviews with Lugbara elders from north-western Uganda. Participants were selected from the villages inside and outside known historical sleeping sickness foci. Elders' memories ranged from examinations of lymph nodes conducted in colonial times to more recent active screening and treatment campaigns. Some negative memories dating from the 1990s were associated with diagnostic procedures, treatment duration and treatment side effects, and were combined with memories of negative impacts related to sleeping sickness epidemics particularly in HAT foci. More positive observations from the recent treatment campaigns were reported, especially improvements in treatment. Sleeping sickness interventions in our research area did not create any permanent traumatic memories, but memories remained flexible and open to change. This study however identified that details related to medical procedures can remain captured in a community's collective memory for decades. We recommend more emphasis on communication between disease control programme planners and communities using detailed and transparent information distribution, which is not one directional but rather a dialogue between both parties.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > Health Services. Patients and Patient Advocacy > W 85 Patients. Attitude and compliance
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 705 Trypanosomiasis
WT Geriatrics. Chronic Disease > Geriatrics > WT 100 General works
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Biological Sciences > Vector Biology Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Jessica Jones
Date Deposited: 03 Jun 2016 10:59
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:12


View details

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item