Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




Dr. Isaac N. Luginaah

Second Advisor

Dr. Chantelle A.M. Richmond


This research is a case study informed by qualitative methodologies examining perceptions of the misuse of an unregistered gin {akpeteshie), and it's role within the promulgation of hepatitis b in the Upper West Region of Ghana. Four research objectives are addressed: 1) to describe the nature of alcohol use among adults; 2) to explore local perceptions about hepatitis b held by adults in the region; 3) to examine the nature of health accessibility in the region; and, 4) to examine the links between alcohol use and the spread of hepatitis b, including the social­ environmental processes that underwrite these links. Thematic analysis of nine focus groups with residents (n=88) and seven key informant interviews indicate that the relationship between alcohol misuse and hepatitis is underwritten by several factors emerging from the physical environment (i.e. drought, isolation) and the social environment (i.e. changing norms surrounding consumption, desires for coping, poverty).



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