Date of Conferral





Public Health


Dr. Michael Schwab


Tuberculosis (TB) kills 1.7 million people each year, and 1/3rd of the world's population is estimated to have latent TB. It was once the deadliest disease in the United States but is now relatively rare and, if treated properly, it is curable. Migrants from TB-endemic countries, such as Haiti, are one source of TB transmission to the US, and the prevalence of TB remains high and is increasing in Little Haiti, Florida. Data on the knowledge and perceptions of Haitian immigrants and Haitian Americans about TB is inadequate. The purpose of this qualitative research was to study the TB-related knowledge, beliefs, and perceptions of Haitian Americans and Haitian immigrants living in Miami, FL. The health belief model formed the theoretical framework of this study. Thirty male and female Haitian American and Haitian immigrants were interviewed. Phenomenological research was used, and open coding was conducted to analyze the data. Results showed that a large majority of the participants in this sample were knowledgeable about the nature of TB - its spread, symptoms, seriousness, and how to get information about it, but many were concerned about the social stigma attached to having the disease. Recommendations include the development of outreach, education and prevention programs through doctors and other health care professionals, as well as religious and community leaders, in order to increase awareness of the disease, enhance access to treatment, minimize stigma and reduce the incidence of the disease.

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