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“It is more than the issue of taking tablets”: The interplay between migration policies and TB control in Sweden

Elsevier Ireland Ltd
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2010.02.014
  • Tuberculosis
  • Immigrants
  • Qualitative Research
  • Sweden
  • Somali
  • Medicine


Abstract Objectives Tuberculosis is re-emerging as a critical public health concern in Sweden among the immigrants. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of the Somali community of TB care in the Stockholm area. Methods Focus group discussions were conducted with 34 adult women and men by a Somali speaking moderator. Each group consisted of 6–9 participants—men and women separately. The audio taped discussions were transcribed, translated and read many times and in the process patterns and codes were identified and migration emerged as important theme in the context of TB control. Results Fear of being deported emerged as barrier to sharing of complete health information with the doctor. The routine contact tracing and follow-up of infected cases in TB control was expressed as a source of concern since it was feared the health care providers could share the information with the immigration authorities. Interpreter use was expressed as barrier particularly if of same female gender. Conclusion It is important to be aware of how a country's immigration policies impact on TB control activities among immigrants The existing TB control measures, such as contact tracing, assume new meanings for immigrants. Further research is therefore needed to understand this emerging complexity in order to make TB control more effective.

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