Indigenous Knowledge, Practices, Beliefs and Social Impacts of Porcine Cysticercosis and Epilepsy in Iringa Rural


Porcine Cysticercosis (PCC) and Human Cysticercosis (HCC)/Neurocysticercosis (NCC) are a burden to the community owing to the reduced value of animals, associated costs of treatment, decreased labour productivity and social discrimination. There is limited knowledge on the management and prevention of PCC and epilepsy in Iringa rural. Therefore, the present study aimed at assessing indigenous knowledge, practices, attitudes and social impacts of PCC and epilepsy in Iringa rural district. A total of 588 people participated in the survey whereby 306 were pig farmers, 223 non-pig farmers and 59 families with epileptic individuals. It was found that 49.8% (χ2 = 0.003, DF = 1, p = 0.954) of pig keepers were aware of PCC, whereas the remaining 50.2% were not aware (χ2 = 25.5, DF = 1, p < 0.001). The prevalence of late onset epilepsy was significantly higher (62.7%) than that of those who manifested seizures and convulsions in childhood 37.3% (χ2 = 3.814, DF = 1, p = 0.51). People in Iringa rural believe epilepsy is caused by evil spirits, witchcraft and/or inheritance. It was concluded that there was limited knowledge on T. solium cysticercosis and epilepsy. This ignorance is the cause of poor practices, negative beliefs and attitudes that negatively affect the social life of People with Epilepsy (PWE) in communities. This study recommends that health education to raise awareness on cysticercosis/taeniosis and epilepsy should be one of the intervention measures for elimination of cysticercosis and epilepsy in Iringa rural district.

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Chacha, M. , Yohana, C. and Nkwengulila, G. (2014) Indigenous Knowledge, Practices, Beliefs and Social Impacts of Porcine Cysticercosis and Epilepsy in Iringa Rural. Health, 6, 2894-2903. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.621328.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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