Predictors of Healthcare-Seeking Behaviour, Health Services Access and Utilization in Ajebo Community, South-West, Nigeria
Background: Health is a fundamental requirement for living a socially and economically productive life. Poor health inflicts great hardships on households, including debilitation, substantial monetary expenditures, loss of productivity and sometimes, death.
Objectives: To describe healthcare-seeking behaviour, access to health services and utilisation, and their predictors in a southwestern Nigerian community.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted in Ajebo community, Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area in Ogun State. A total of 420 respondents were studied using an interviewer-administered questionnaire to collect quantitative data.
Results: More than half (54.0%) of the respondents had access to public health facilities, 41.7% had access to private health facilities, while patent medicine stores were accessed by 4.3% of the respondents. Out of the 249 (59.3%) who were ill in the preceding three months, 92.4% of them sought healthcare. More males utilized government-owned health services s than females (χ² = 3.878, p = 0.049). More than half (56.4%) travelled >10 minutes to access healthcare services. Lack of formal education was not a hindrance to seeking healthcare (OR = 31.392, p = 0.003, CI = 3.323-2.347). Income earning <30,000 Naira was the strongest predictor of healthcare utilization (OR = 3.304, p =0.001, 95% CI = 2.007-5.441). Education with OR = 31.392 (p = 0.003, 95% CI = 3.323-96.570) was the strongest predictor of healthcare-seeking behaviour.
Conclusion: Healthcare-seeking behaviour was not limited by lack of formal education. The utilisation of public health facilities was high among the respondents. State of employment and income were strong predictors of healthcare utilisation in Ajebo community.
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