Factors Impacting Effective Diabetes Care – University of Copenhagen

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27 April 2016

Factors Impacting Effective Diabetes Care


In rural Uganda, diabetes patients' access to and effective use of treatment is affected by their economic and social resources. In this paper by a range of UCPH affiliated researchers, the landscape of availability of care and the therapeutic journeys of patients within that landscape is investigated.

Post doc Jannie Nielsen has on the basis of her fieldwork in South-Western Uganda published a new article in Global Public Health on Accessing diabetes care in rural Uganda: Economic and social resources. Co-authors include other University of Copenhagen affiliated researchers, Ib Bygbjerg, Dan Meyrowitsch, and Susan Whyte. Find an abstract below.

Non-communicable diseases including type 2 diabetes (T2D) are increasing rapidly in most Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries like Uganda. Little attention has been given to how patients with T2D try to achieve treatment when the availability of public health care for their disease is limited, as is the case in most SSA countries. In this paper we focus on the landscape of availability of care and the therapeutic journeys of patients within that landscape. Based on fieldwork in south-western Uganda including 10 case studies, we explore the diabetes treatment options in the area and what it takes to access the available treatment. We analyse the resources patients need to use the available treatment options, and demonstrate that the patients’ journeys to access and maintain treatment are facilitated by the knowledge and support of their therapy management groups. Patients access treatment more effectively, if they and their family have money, useful social relations, and knowledge, together with the capacity to communicate with health staff. Patients coming from households with high socio-economic status (SES) are more likely to have all of these resources, while for patients with low or medium SES, lack of economic resources increases the importance of connections within the health system.