Understanding Disease Progression in the Kagera Region of Tanzania: A Framework for Efficient Health Care Delivery
Today, chronic illnesses remain a great health burden for households and individuals in sub-Saharan Africa. This has been especially true in the Kagera Region in Tanzania, where HIV/AIDS rates have historically been greater than the national averages and health services have been poorly administered. In Kagera and elsewhere, policymakers must understand the progression of specific diseases in order to develop appropriate guidelines for treatment and care, and prioritize and allocate resources for health services. This study attempts to provide such a framework. Using longitudinal data from the Kagera Health and Development Survey 1991-1994, and 2004, the study examines health patterns among adults (aged 15-95) in Tanzania, and explores how well chronic health symptoms explain variations in survival time. This analysis shows that there are a number of populations that are at higher risk of experiencing death in the Kagera region: individuals with persistent weight-loss; females; individuals aged 35-44 years of age; previously married men and women; and individuals with higher levels of education. Future research is needed to explain why it is that some parts of the population survive less relative to individuals without those characteristics.
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