Tribal differences in perception of tuberculosis: A possible role in tuberculosis control in Arusha, Tanzania


SETTING: Arusha, Tanzania. OBJECTIVE: To determine tribal differences in knowledge and practices that might influence tuberculosis control. METHOD: Twenty-seven villages were selected randomly out of 242 villages in four districts. In each village, a general and a livestock keeping group were selected at random. The households were home-visited and 426 family members were interviewed. RESULTS: On average, 40% of respondents practiced habits that might expose them to both bovine and human tuberculosis. The Barabaig tribe had a significantly higher number of respondents (50%, X2(2) = 5.1, P = 0.024) who did not boil milk. Eating uncooked meat or meat products was practised by 17.9% of all respondents. The habit was practised more by Iraqw (21.1%, X2(2) = 6.9, P = 0.008) and Barabaig (31.6%, X2(2) = 5.6, P = 0.016) than other tribes. About 75% of the respondents had a poor knowledge of tuberculosis. CONCLUSION: All tribes had habits and beliefs that might expose them to both bovine and human tuberculosis. The Iraqw and Barabaig tribes practised such habits more than other tribes. Knowledge of tuberculosis was limited in all tribes.


The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Vol 7, No. 10, 2003.


Perception, Tribes, Tuberculosis, Tanzania, Tuberculosis control