The Impact of Stigma on the Healthcare of Tuberculosis Patients in Kitwe
Central African Journal of Public Health
Volume 4, Issue 6, December 2018, Pages: 175-184
Received: Oct. 22, 2018; Accepted: Nov. 12, 2018; Published: Dec. 26, 2018
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Evaristo Chanda, Department of Clinical Sciences, Michael Chilufya Sata School of Medicine, Copperbelt University, Ndola, Zambia
Alfred Matafwali Sichilima, Department of Biological Sciences, School of Mathematics & Natural Sciences, Copperbelt University, Kitwe, Zambia
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Tuberculosis (TB) is on the increase in Kitwe and TB related stigma makes it difficult to control the disease. The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of stigma on the healthcare of patients suffering from tuberculosis. The study was a descriptive cross-sectional study among TB patients registered at Buchi Small and Ipusukilo clinics. Simple random sampling method was used to select participants. A total of 115 questionnaires were distributed and all 115 were properly filled and returned. The study revealed that only 44.3% of the respondents had a high level of knowledge of TB. Stigmatization attitude was high among participants with 16.5% and 39.1% of the patients experiencing high and moderate stigma, respectively. 14.8% of the respondents reported having lost friend (s) and/or family and/or co-worker(s) because of their illness and 52.2% had had their illness used against them through verbal insults or being fired from their jobs. Furthermore, 44.3% of the patients felt like stopping taking their medication (even if the course of treatment had not been completed) once they felt better in order to free themselves from stigmatization and 40% felt disliked by the healthcare workers. Level of education correlated significantly with level of knowledge (P value = 0.002). Age showed strong relationships with level of stigma experienced by participants (P value = 0.004) and having feelings of stopping TB Treatment due to stigma (P value = 0.034). However, level of stigma experienced by patients did not show any significant relationship with level of education (P value = 0.764) or Religion (P value = 0.374). The study had noted the high level of stigma towards TB patients and its consequences on healthcare, especially on TB control. It is therefore recommended that health education programmes that aim at enriching the knowledge of TB and consequences of stigma be introduced and should carter for both the patients and the entire community.
Tuberculosis, Stigma, Healthcare, Buchi Small Clinic, Ipusukilo Clinic, Kitwe
To cite this article
Evaristo Chanda, Alfred Matafwali Sichilima, The Impact of Stigma on the Healthcare of Tuberculosis Patients in Kitwe, Central African Journal of Public Health. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2018, pp. 175-184. doi: 10.11648/j.cajph.20180406.12
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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