Kampala Women Getting By: Wellbeing in the Time of AIDS

By Sandra Wallman | Go to book overview

Seven
Home Treatment

JESSICA OGDEN &
GRACE BANTEBYA KYOMUHENDO

Home treatment is a common first response to the onset of an illness episode the world over. In industrialized countries a plethora of over-the-counter medications are available to treat the symptoms of colds, flu, arthritis, hayfever and other common, non-lifethreatening illnesses. As a matter of course, we self-prescribe: we go to our local chemist and buy remedies we recognize and know will relieve our symptoms. We might treat our illnesses at home in other ways as well: with warm baths or cool cloths, bowls of chicken soup, dry toast, days off school or work. We undertake these measures, saving ourselves the considerable expense and inconvenience of going to the G.P. or clinic, while affirming our own agency in maintaining wellness in ourselves and the members of our household. We eventually go to the doctor should home treatment fail to bring relief 'soon enough'. It is with some degree of confidence that we undertake this step. The expectation is that the cost of going to the doctor (in terms of time, if not money) will be offset by satisfactog results: we will get well.

In Kamwokya, home treatment occurs in a context where the expectations of wellbeing and cure are very different, and where the formal health-care system has broken down as a result of two decades of civil war and economic mismanagement. In Uganda, home treatment and the over-the-counter purchase of prescription drugs (including antibiotics) have significant public health implications. This chapter discusses the significance of the household as a locus of health care; the nature of the home treatment process (including the importance of drug shops); the relationship between home treatment and autonomy; and the role that 'invisibility' plays, especially in the (home) treatment of sexual infections.


The Household as the Locus of Health

This section gives a brief review of the literature concerned with the role

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Kampala Women Getting By: Wellbeing in the Time of AIDS
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Photographs, Sketches, Maps & Figures viii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Notes on Contributors x
  • One - Introduction 1
  • Two - Kamwokya 17
  • Three - People in Place 47
  • Four - Community Life 73
  • Five - Household Wellbeing 90
  • Six - Treatment Options 111
  • Seven - Home Treatment 142
  • Eight - Children's Illnesses 152
  • Nine - Private Disease 166
  • Ten - Six Women 189
  • Eleven - Community Life II 206
  • Twelve - Summary & Conclusions 226
  • References 236
  • Index 241
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