Stella Peter Kilima

National Institute for Medical Research-Mbeya Medical Research Center (NIMR-MMRC)

Ms. Killima has a Master of Arts degree in Medical Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Dar es Salaam and a Bachelor of sociology degree from the same University. She is a PhD student at the School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself…

I am a senior research scientist (sociologist) working with the National Institute for Medical Research since 2007. In 2012-2014 I became a head of health System Department; from 2014- to date I work as a head of Policy Analysis and Advocacy Department. My area of interest is Tuberculosis, HIV and Reproductive and Maternal Health.

 Please tell us a little bit about your research…

TITLE: Social and Economic Consequences of Pulmonary Tuberculosis – Perspectives of Patients, their Families, the Community and Health Care Providers in Mbeya and Songwe Regions, Tanzania

This proposed study will be undertaken in Mbeya and Songwe Regions in Tanzania, and is a sub-study nested within a large multi-country multi-centre TB observational cohort study, called TB Sequel. The proposed sub-study seeks to answer the following questions: 1) What are the social and economic consequences of PTB on individuals, families, community members and healthcare providers and 2) How do those affected by TB in Mbeya and Songwe regions of Tanzania cope with the disease.

The study will employ cross-sectional designed, A combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis techniques will be applied, targeting different populations as source of information. These will include (i) patients with TB and/or HIV; (ii) close relatives of the patients including family members, neighbours, friends and community members residing in the communities in which the patients live; (iii) health care providers involved in the delivery of TB and/or HIV services; (iv) NTLP officers/staff working at different levels – national, regional and district; and (vi) policy decision-makers including ministerial and programme officers/managers.

The study is expected to take four years to complete. In addition to the PhD thesis, which includes a training component, several papers will be published in peer review journals. As part of the dissemination plan, we plan to present findings at seminars, workshops, conferences and policy briefs to both local and international audiences/forums.

 What is the most exciting thing about your job and or research?

In my job the most exciting thing in my research is speaking with PTB clients and hear their stories.