International Journal of Health and Psychology Research (IJHPR)

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Household Health Seeking Behavior and Predicators of Health Care of Vulnerable Groups of Rural Dwellers in North Central Nigeria: A Mixed Method Study


Despite all the numerous advances in medical knowledge, commentators agree that the greatest gains in health can only come through behavioral change. For a country like Nigeria, attaining behavioral change in its populace will impact greatly on aspects of her health development especially because majority of her populace dwell in the rural areas.  Through a narrative review, this study examines household health seeking behavior and predicators of health care of Vulnerable Groups of Rural Dwellers (VGRD) in North Central Nigeria. The research survey adopted a mixed method design to collect both quantitative and qualitative data based on an existing report. Additionally, reviews of relevant literatures were also consulted. A total of 3981 household heads were interviewed and 119 key informant interviews were conducted. Findings showed that the most predominant reasons for unwillingness to participate was lack of funds (financial hardship). The level of educational literacy was also seen to be directly related to knowledge of health seeking behaviour. Findings also showed that though most of the communities have an existing healthcare facilities, majority of them do not have the requisite manpower to provide essential health care services to the populace. Respondents highlighted malaria, typhoid, and high blood pressure combined with financial hardship as the common health and socioeconomic problems in all the communities. Most people in the rural settlements have little or no background in western education leading to low income and productivity. Major challenges associated with access to healthcare are the high cost of services/fees, attitude of health workers, and lack of drugs among other things. The paper recommended the need to develop mechanisms for robust identification of vulnerable group in the society, designing effective stakeholders’ engagement mechanisms, rigorous monitoring and evaluation as well as transparency.

Keywords: Health Care, Rural dwellers, health seeking behaviour, vulnerable groups

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