Healthcare seeking behaviour for fever in a rural community
International Journal of Infectious Diseases
Many assumptions are made about healthcare seeking behaviour in resource poor settings. Because these assumptions are not based on research, many children lack access to vital public health preventive services such as vaccination. In preparation for establishing a population-based surveillance for acute febrile illness in children, we conducted a survey to determine the pattern of healthcare seeking behavior for fever in a rural community in Nigeria. Methods & Materials: This survey was
... survey was conducted on healthcare seeking behaviour and other health related behaviour in Ibarapa Central Local Government Area of Oyo State Nigeria. All households in the area were visited and information sought from household heads or where not available a knowledgeable individual in the family was approached. A modified questionnaire adapted from the National Demographic Health Survey was used to collect data. Data entry and analysis was done using SPSS version 15. Results: The total number of respondents was 17,812. comprising, 73.6% males and 26.4% females. A higher proportion (33.7%) had no formal education, aged 18-59 years (72.6%) and 29.2% live below $2/day. The three topmost facility at which health care is normally sought for fever were chemist shop (26.3%), state hospital (25.3%) and private clinics (21.5%). The distance to these preferred facilities was less than 500 meters in 50.1% of cases while up to 71.7% of respondents spend less than a fifth on their income on health. Majority of household heads aged 18-59 years (75.2%) use private health facilities as compared to other age groups (p<0.001). Conclusion: In resource poor settings, patronage of patent medicine shops and private clinic for febrile illness is high. This observation must inform the design of any health care intervention or surveillance. System-wide defects in the health care delivery system may be contributory to this behaviour pattern. Healthcare interventions or surveillance activities that are solely based at traditional Government established facilities will not provide comprehensive results. http://dx.