Geographic and Socioeconomic difference in the Sources of Healthcare by Households
in Edo State and its Implication on Disease Surveillance
Mary Mathew1*, Jenny A Momoh1, Dan Apagu Gadzama2, Esomonu Sabastine N2 and Michael E Aghahowa3
1Department of Community Medicine, Federal University of Lafia, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
2Department of Planning, Research and Statistics, Federal Capital Territory Primary Health Care Board, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria
3Department of Surgery, Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Mary Mathew, Department of Community Medicine, Federal University of Lafia, Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
July 18, 2023; Published: July 27, 2023
The source of health care by households influences the growth and development and overall health outcomes of a population. This mixed cross-sectional descriptive study among 495 eligible respondents in Edo State, Nigeria found chemists were the major source of healthcare patronized by households in both geographic and socioeconomic groups. This was followed by private and teaching hospitals in the urban areas but health centers and herbalists in the rural areas. Although there was no statistically significant difference between the healthcare seeking behavior of households of different socioeconomic groups, the major reason given by the poorest households for initial choice of a health provider was cost while those in the rich and richest households was quality.
Rural households reported more illnesses than the urban households. There was a statistically significant difference in the distribution of the reported illness between rural and urban households. This significant finding shows that diseases need to be identified at the community level. In reality, only a minority number of diseases turn up at health facilities buttressing the ‘tip of the iceberg phenomenon’ for disease detection at health facilities. This affects the true picture of disease prevalence and its surveillance. With one-health approach in mind, human and animal surveillance needs to be integrated and innovative solutions found to address some challenges. The importance of an innovative events-based surveillance as an important mechanism for early warning, risk assessment, disease predictions and responses, starting from the community level cannot, but be overemphasized.
Keywords: Sources of Healthcare; Socioeconomic; Geographic Location
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