Jennika Virhia

Jennika Virhia

  • PhD Candidate

Research Title

Healthy Animals, Healthy People: Exploring Health Seeking Strategies Among Livestock Keepers in Northern Tanzania

Research Summary

Title: Exploring animal and human health seeking pathways among agropastoralists in Northern Tanzania

There are three dimensions to my project. Firstly, in the recognition that socio-cultural context is important for understanding and adopting health interventions I am aiming to understand local aetiologies and epistemologies of health, illness, maladies and treatments with a particular focus on vaccines. This will then give a broader appreciation of the different routes people take in seeking both human and animal healthcare – using a methodology which tracks the sequence of remedial actions in response to a period of ill health. Subsequently, I am aiming to undertake a qualitative social network analysis to determine who the main providers of support, help, advice and information are during times of illness and how this is accessed and acted upon by members of the community. The intention of undertaking these three objectives is to gauge how network embeddedness impacts upon an individual’s agency to access animal and human healthcare in an agropastoral context.

I am based at the University of Glasgow and will spend substantial amounts of time in agropastoral areas in Northern Tanzania. This PhD studentship is linked with the project investigating Social, Economic and Environmental Drivers of Zoonoses in Tanzania (SEEDZ), funded by ZELS (Zoonoses and Emerging Livestock Systems).