Social Science Programme / Gender and treatment seeking in Uganda

Lead Research Organisation: MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit on AIDS


Both qualitative and quantitative research are needed to support the development of the most appropriate health care services for key diseases (such as HIV and tuberclosis in Uganda) which pose a substantial threat to individual health, to the family and to social stability. This research on men and womens treatment seeking will provide evidence on whether there are gender differences in the care actually obtained. The findings are expected to provide insights to explain men and womens treatment seeking behaviour. The survey in Wakiso district provides a broad overview while the in-depth study of mens treatment seeking, which is being undertaken in Busia district gives a more detailed understanding of the facilitators and barriers to the use of particular forms of care and so contributes to the development of gender-sensitive services where appropriate.|

Technical Summary

This research is investigating women and mens response to symptoms of illness. There are currently two projects on this theme. One, a quantitative study looking at men and womens response to a range of symptoms is being conducted in Wakiso district, central Uganda. The second project is an ethnographic study exploring the relationship between local notions of masculinity and mens response to symptoms of chronic illnesses (HIV/AIDS and TB) in a rural cultural context of Busia district, eastern Uganda. ||While the first project is exploring treatment seeking responses to a range of different symptoms (fever, cough, extreme tiredness, diarrhoea etc.) with 1000 people (500 men and 500 women) over six months, the second project affords the opportunity for in-depth research. That project consists of ethnographic research carried out over a year. The research is taking a critical look at masculinity as it is lived out, constructed, maintained and experienced by men in their private spaces (homes) and in common or public spaces, and how these ideas of male hood influence access to and use of antiretroviral therapy (ART), TB treatment and living with these illnesses as chronic health and social conditions. ||The work is funded by the MRC/UVRI Uganda Research Unit from its core budget, with co-funding from a grant from the MRC Social and Public Health Sciences Unit Glasgow, UK.
Description MRC Unit in Glasgow 
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support for tool development and analysis
Impact na
Start Year 2009