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The impact of Neglected Tropical Diseases, and their associated stigma, on people’s basic capabilities

By JANE EMMA WILSHER

Abstract

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of diseases prevalent in developing countries. It has been estimated that collectively they may account for a health burden, in terms of years of life lost to disability, close to that of malaria, tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS. Stigma, in part, accounts for this high disease burden. However there is little literature on why NTDs are highly stigmatised, how the infected individual and their family are affected by stigma, and how this may manifest as either an entry into poverty or a deepening of poverty; in terms of both economics and capabilities. \ud This thesis combines the capabilities approach, as theorised and developed by Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum (1993), and NTDs in order to assess NTDs’ impact on poverty in terms of reducing people’s ability to choose a life that is valuable to them. \ud A conceptual framework has been devised, linking health, poverty and capabilities, in which to place NTDs. Using the capabilities approach as a basis for analyzing NTDs is useful, as it is a well-established paradigm, which inspired the creation of the UN’s Human Development Index (HDI). Therefore combining the high profile paradigm of the capabilities approach with the lower profile NTDs may help to raise NTDs’ profile, as well as creating a way in which to assess their impact on poverty that does not concentrate on monetary losses or mortality rates alone. It is hoped that this new direction will reveal major gaps in the current literature and initiate new research directions. \u

Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.dur.ac.uk:3301
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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