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People with Albinism in Tanzania: Barriers and Supporting Factors of Accessing Healthcare Services
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

People with albinism (PWA) are characterised by a lack of pigmentation in their skin and eyes. In Tanzania, PWA are stigmatised and often persecuted. In addition to this social exclusion, they are susceptible to skin cancers and other diseases and often receive limited education because of low vision difficulties. It is of particular interest to understand their access to healthcare about which little is known in Tanzania.

The objective of this qualitative study is to explore the living situation of PWA and their access to healthcare services in Tanzania. Six semi-structured interviews with PWA, and healthcare professionals respectively were conducted and analysed using Thematic Analysis.

The data locate PWA as a risk group to develop certain diseases, yet PWA do not always have the means to prevent them. Barriers to healthcare include poverty, distances from health facilities, costs of treatment, a lack of equipment, and knowledge. Supporting factors are the family and surrounding community, as well as increased education for individuals in contact with PWA.

It is found that increasing the awareness about PWA, their health problems, and education is likely to contribute to increasing the access to healthcare for them. A commitment of the Tanzanian government must be achieved to support this group and expand already existing programmes, which are, until now, partially run by foreign NGOs. Being able to reach health facilities at a low cost without the need to travel long distances and a welcoming attitude of the staff are main supporting factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 57 p.
Keyword [en]
Oculocutaneus Albinism, Tanzania, Access to Healthcare, Sub-Saharan Africa
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-295420OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-295420DiVA: diva2:933650
Educational program
Master Programme in International Health
2016-05-31, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2016-06-16 Created: 2016-06-07 Last updated: 2016-06-16Bibliographically approved

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