Multimorbidity in Africa: increasing understanding of the patient experience and epidemiology

IHW researchers are leading work which will look at multimorbidity and treatment burden in Sub Saharan Africa.

Photo of African landscape with MAFRICAEE study logo in bottom right corner

This is exploratory work, funded by the Medical Research Council, developing a collaboration looking at multimorbidity and treatment burden in Sub Saharan Africa.

The work is led by IHW University of Glasgow team (Prof Frances Mair, Dr Bhautesh Jani, Dr Chris Bunn, Prof Mia Crampin, Ms Karen Penman) in collaboration with colleagues at Malawi Epidemiology and Intervention Research Unit, the MRC Units in Gambia and Uganda and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The study will adopt a mixed methods approach on exploring multimorbidity and treatment burden among participants from Malawi, Gambia and Uganda. We will analyse three existing community data sources from these three countries respectively to look at prevalence of multimorbidity and its relationship with demographic and lifestyle factors. As part of this project, we will be analysing 30 interviews on patient experience of multimorbidity in Malawi as well as conducting 30 interviews with healthcare professionals across Sub Saharan Africa, ten each in Malawi, Gambia and Uganda. These interviews will explore how healthcare professionals approach the treatment of patients living with multimorbidity, the challenges they face, and their perceptions of potential for improvement.

Reflecting on the work that lies ahead, Dr Bhautesh Jani said:

"Multimorbidity, presence of two or more long-term conditions, is a global health challenge. Prevalence of multimorbidity is rising in low- and middle-income countries, including Sub Saharan Africa. Living with multimorbidity is hard work and requires people to assume an increasing workload of self-management, something referred to as treatment burden. We are very excited about MAFRICAEE, as it gives an opportunity to do exploratory work on multimorbidity and treatment burden in Sub Saharan Africa and build an exciting collaboration with leading health researchers working in Malawi, Uganda and the Gambia."

A project website and twitter feed have recently been launched.  

First published: 14 March 2018

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