Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Isaac Luginaah


This qualitative study explores the perceptions of the impacts of a proposed probiotic yogurt project on community relations in the Mahina community, Mwanza, Tanzania with the following objectives: to identify participants’ perceptions of probiotic yogurt and health; to examine project needs and facilitators; and to explore perceived barriers to project implementation in the context of community relations and gender roles. In-depth interviews (n=26) were conducted with residents and the analysis was informed by the literature on concepts of health, gender and development. The results revealed participants’ conceptions and misconceptions of probiotic yogurt including a misleading popular perceptions that probiotics can be used to replace antiretroviral therapies. Concerns about the project contributing to possible increases in abusive situations and household conflict over labour and resources were expressed. Community challenges and barriers to project implementation included cost, time constraints, women’s multiple roles, lack of education, HIV/AIDS stigma, hunger, malnutrition, death and disease.



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