Treatment seeking behaviour among poor urban women in Kampala Uganda
This thesis examines women's treatment seeking behaviour for their own illnesses and that of children underfive in Kamwokya . The focus is on the extent to which women's access to money and time use patterns affect treatment seeking. It has been argued that women's treatment seeking behaviour is influenced more by their time use than their access to and availability of money.The findings obtained through the use of case histories and in-depth interviews indicate that though women in Kamwokya have access to their own money, mainly through participation in income generating activities (business), illness management for children under-five and even more for the women themselves, remains problematic. Women are overworked and manage fragile businesses that require their personal attention and presence. Hence, treatment seeking is done in a manner that will ensure minimal disruption of businesses. Consequently children's health, and even more so, that of women , is compromised for the sake of other family needs.This thesis demonstrates that illness management is not context free, and that no one factor can explain the whole process ; it both affects and is affected by other things happening in the family. Due to the multiple roles women have to fulfil, "time use "is found to be the organising and central factor in illness management for both women and children in Kamwokya, whether from rich or poor households.The thesis concludes by suggesting that policy makers, health care providers and professionals ought to take into account the daily routines of family life in their plans and programmes. Strengthening of private sector health providers, health education programmes and increased awareness raising of male responsibilities towards their families are recommended as a way of improving the health of women and children in Uganda.