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Abstract

Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a condition caused by a parasitic infection associated with tapeworms that usually results in seizures. NCC is common in tropical areas such as Northern Peru where families in rural communities breed pigs. Neurocysticercosis is a helminthic disease that is acquired through faecal-oral contamination. Poor sanitary facilities and poor hygienic practices are factors that increase the chances of infection. NCC affects the central nervous system and this usually results in seizures and symptomatic epilepsy. In this article we explore the implications of living with NCC using a gender lens. We describe the different ways in which men and women explain and cope with seizures and show that while both men and women see their abilities to perform everyday tasks diminished; women’s concerns revolve around not being able to perform their responsibilities as mothers and housewives, while men worry about the wellbeing of the family as a result of their reduced capacity to engage in income generating activities. Further research to document whether gendered activities result in differential exposure to NCC is needed to have a better understanding of the various ways in which gender impacts the health status of men and women in poor rural areas.

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