Perceptions on accessibility and utilization of Rural Health Care. The case of Nyagara village in Siaya County
Chero, Regina Agola A
MetadataShow full item record
Good health is vital to social-economic development, given that it enables people to participate in economic, social and political development. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) identifies health as an integral part in fighting poverty. Therefore, increased accessibility to health care has large social benefits to the poor and consequently many spillovers to the wealthier members of the society. Rural behavioralhealth patterns are fundamentally different from urban and suburban systems. Individual perceptions on rural health care provide substantial difficulties in creating appropriate treatment and referral services in the affected areas. Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2008) estimated that only three people out of six sick people seek formal medical attention in Kenya's rural setting. It is widely acknowledged that about (80%) of the world's population rely on traditional medicine for primary health care The overall objective of this study was to investigate perceptions on accessibility and utilization of rural health care in Kenya, by assessing perceived obstacles towards health accessibility and utilization in the rural areas; perceived susceptibility of one being infected by a particular disease and the consequences a given disease would have on one's state of affair. Literature review looked at key issues affecting the health accessibility and utilization: - cultural beliefs and attitudes, mental health, range of services, transport, and lack of education and illiteracy levels among others. The chapter was concluded by a conceptual framework in line with the Health Belief Model. Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (2008) estimated that only three people out of six sick people seek formal medical attention in Kenya's rural setting. To address the study objectives, a survey research design was applied in Nyagara Village. The study population engulfed Siaya County. Convenience sampling was employed to identify which sub-location within Siaya County was applicable for the research. Through the use of convenience sampling also Ngunya sub-location was selected. In the same vein the a list of the numbers of villages were obtained from the area Chief to conveniently arrive at Nyagara Village that informed the study. Secondary data from research reports was used to provide a wider understanding of the issues under research. Primary data was collected through the use of a questionnaire. Data collected was analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methods. The raw data collected using the questionnaire were sorted out and edited to identify filled items, and those that were wrongly responded to. Exploratory data analysis which includes statistical summaries, graphical representations, and frequency distribution tables was used in the preliminary analysis of data. In summary, findings of this study showed female population constituted of 51. 7 % of respondents while 48.3 % were male. The age profile of the respondent concentrated on older ages, where 33.3% of the respondents were aged between 40 - 49 years, closely followed by 26.7% aged 50 years and above. 23.3% ofthe respondent was within the age bracket of 29 - 39 years. Finally, the age bracket of 18 - 28 that is considered to be the youth recorded 16.7% being the least. Accessibility was explored by recording the time that the respondents needed to reach a health facility, 53.3 % ofthe respondent required more than two hours to arrive to the nearest health care providers. 25.0 % required between 1 - 2 hours while 17.9 % required only less than an hour. The study also looked at gender and traditional medicine and its significance in health accessibility and utilization. The results showed that more men used traditional medicine as compared to women indexed at 85.7 % and 66.7 % male and female respectively. In conclusion while nearly all studies focus on how gender inequalities negatively affect women's health, this study investigated both situations of men and women. The finding indicates that men in the area are the least consumers of health care services. Men in most cases are not able to overtly show pain or emotions, such as fear about an illness, in addition they to attend doctors late so as not show their weaknesses, or do not comply with health advice that implies a change in habits if they are considered 'feminized'. An important component of any health intervention programme must deal with providing information to users, educating the users and channeling the information in a manner which is acceptable to the users. As recommendation to begin with health-care-accessibility and utilization studies range across .many different health care programmes - from malaria studies, health seeking behaviour to reproductive health. These studies are important because they provide relevant information on what patients' policy makers or caretakers, do when faced with a health problem. The primary question is to what extent have health accessibility and utilization studies been useful in determining 'the type of intervention programmes that can be put in place to alleviate the myriad of health problems? This study proposes the following interventions> Health Information Empowerment, Rural shop keeper training, Training community health workers for malaria control, Collaboration with traditional healers, Gender-sensitive approaches, Improved Accessibility and Quality of Care.