Healthy animals, healthy people: lived experiences of zoonotic febrile Illness in northern Tanzania

Virhia, Jennika (2020) Healthy animals, healthy people: lived experiences of zoonotic febrile Illness in northern Tanzania. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In the recognition that 75 percent of all emerging human infectious diseases in the past three decades originated in animals, many prominent veterinary and human health scientists have subscribed to the ‘One Health’ approach as a basis for redressing human diseases, animal diseases and environmental degradation worldwide (Rock et al., 2009). At its core, ‘One Health’ recognises the interconnectedness of humans, animals and the environment and thus calls for cross-sectoral, collaborative and integrative approaches to reducing disease burdens that arise at this interface. However, while the approach appears to be all encompassing in terms of interdisciplinary science, scant attention has been paid to the relationship between disease and society (Dzingirai et al., 2017). Endemic zoonoses, for example, disproportionately affects those in underprivileged communities and has significant impacts on rural livelihoods (Halliday et al., 2015). These diseases highlight how complex systems of health, poverty and politic collide, resulting in ‘structural violence’ (Galtung, 1969) and avoidable suffering for those who are already marginalised.
Through adopting a mixed methods ethnography, this thesis offers insight into the lived experiences of livestock and human febrile illness (many of which are zoonotic) in an agropastoral community in northern Tanzania. I trace, in detail, the health seeking strategies undertaken to remedy illness, from recognition of symptoms through to engaging with public and veterinary health systems. By adopting a biosocial approach to this research, I am able to scrutinise the ways in which health-related behaviours are socially mediated. In doing so I uncover how ‘structural violence’ (Galtung, 1969) is deeply embedded within health systems and ultimately embodied by livestock keepers when pursuing health care for themselves and their livestock. This thesis hopes to provide a more critical theorisation of health seeking by highlighting the ways in which animal and human illness is experienced within prevailing social, political and economic dynamics. This has the potential to contribute to social science scholarship within One Health by taking a more nuanced view of the material conditions in which people live that shape their ability to effectively pursue animal and human health and wellbeing.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: zoonoses, health seeking behaviour, Tanzania, biosocial approaches to health, One Health, febrile illness.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Geography
Funder's Name: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
Supervisor's Name: Sharp, Professor Jo, Davis, Dr. Alicia and Laurie, Dr. Emma
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Jennika Virhia
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-79058
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2020 10:31
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2022 07:41

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