Geographical, Health SystemsÃ¢ÂÂ and Sociocultural Patterns of Tb/Hiv Co- Infected PatientsÃ¢ÂÂ Health Seeking Behavior in a Conflict Affected Setting: The Case of Eastern Democratic Republic of CongoBerthollet Bwira Kaboru1* Edmond Ntabe Namegabe2
- Corresponding Author:
- Berthollet Bwira Kaboru
Senior Lecturer, School of Health and Medical Sciences
Örebro University, Sweden
Tel: +46 19301184
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: October 04, 2013; Accepted Date: December 24, 2013; Published Date: December 27, 2013
Citation: Kaboru BB, Namegabe EN (2013) Geographical, Health Systems’ and Sociocultural Patterns of Tb/Hiv Co-Infected Patients’ Health Seeking Behavior in a Conflict Affected Setting: The Case of Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. J Community Med Health Educ 4:263. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000263
Copyright: © 2013 Kaboru BB, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Background: The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the high burden TB countries. The country has been affected by a political conflict for more than 15 years now. HIV prevalence has been increasing in the country too. Detection and care of TB/HIV co-infected cases is a major problem in the country.
Aim: This study aimed at describing patterns of health seeking behaviors among patients with TB/HIV regarding their choice of health facilities for integrated TB/HIV care in the Goma and surrounding health districts.
Methods: The methods used included a cross-sectional descriptive survey with TB/HIV co-infected patients and qualitative interviews of health workers.
Results: The study found that geographical residence did not play a major role in choice of facility for care by patients infected with TB and HIV. Many patients shun facilities which are close and seek care relatively far away. Instead of geographical proximity, availability of drugs and welcoming attitudes determined the choice of integrated care facilities. Also, fear for discrimination and stigmatization in the community result into patients in this area concealing their infection; rather, they claim being victim of empoisoning.
Conclusion: Sustained decentralization of integrated TB/HIV services through better programs’ coordination and community involvement to address misconceptions about TB and HIV and stigmatization are essential to promote uptake of TB/HIV services and retain patients in treatment.