Individuals' and Doctors' Perspectives of Living with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Kenya

  • Eunice Omondi

Student thesis: Phd


Living with lupus in Kenya: views of individuals with lupus and their doctors Lupus is a complex, poorly understood long-term disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues of any part of the body. The disease mainly affects young women of childbearing age. Studies from developed countries show that the condition affects individuals physically, emotionally and socially. However, nothing is known about how having lupus has affected individuals living with the condition in the African continent. I explored how lupus had affected individuals living with the condition in Kenya from the time individuals began to feel unwell. I interviewed three groups of participants. 10 individuals who attended the public rheumatology clinic, 11 individuals who attended a private rheumatology clinic and 6 doctors who worked in the rheumatology clinics. The study found that some individuals delayed in getting medical help for their lupus. It appears to take a long time for individuals to get their lupus diagnosed due to organisation and staffing of the Kenyan health system. It was also perceived by individuals with lupus that treatment for the condition was difficult to access and it was also costly. Some individuals believed that their lupus had a supernatural cause. Often there appeared to be a lack of understanding of lupus by individuals who suffered from the condition; and also by others, some having experienced disapproval or negative feelings from others. Individuals with lupus reported lacking the financial resources and social support to manage their condition better. Lupus was affecting them physically, emotionally and had an impact on their social lives. There are a number of challenges in living with lupus in Kenya, including individuals' and others perception of the condition, but also how healthcare is provided to these individuals.
Date of Award1 Aug 2018
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorHannah Cooke (Supervisor), Gretl Mchugh (Supervisor) & Ann-Louise Caress (Supervisor)


  • qualitative research
  • Doctors' perspective
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Patients' perspective

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