Under Utilization of Modern Health Facilities and the Practice of Alternative Medicine in Rural Areas of Rivers State
55 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2012
Date Written: December 11, 2012
The study examined Utilisation of Health Care Facilities in some selected facilities in Rivers State. It sampled 400 respondents from 10 Local Government Areas of Rivers State. However, 366 copies of questionnaire representing (91.50% response rate) were used for the data analyses. The data analyses were achieved through the use of both descriptive and inferential statistical tools. The study revealed that socio-economic factors determine patronage of modern health facilities in the some selected local government areas in Rivers State. Major reasons provided by the respondents for not utilizing the basic health centres were presumed lack of equipment and drugs. The study revealed that the major effects of high cost of modern medicine on the people in rural areas include: shift to alternative medical treatments, low patronage to modern health facilities, spread of diseases, increase in self medication, ill health, proliferation of quacks in medical matters, increase rate of untimely death, recourse to superstitions and cultural heritage indulgence and reduced life span. The study also revealed that the facilities for modern health care services are largely concentrated in certain localities and this tends to make them inaccessible to most of the inhabitants in some parts of the local government areas. The study found that the main factors responsible for the non utilisation of modern health care facilities by the people in rural areas the problem of long queues, increase in poverty, stereo type beliefs/ culture, unemployment, inadequate information/ignorance and self-medication with traditional herbs. From the test of the hypotheses in this study it is evident and conclusive that: the poor health status of the people in rural communities is the result of under utilization of modern health care facilities in the areas; the use of alternative medicine due to low income is responsible for ineffective use of modern health facilities in rural areas and the non utilisation of modern health care facilities leads to underutilization of modern health facilities in rural areas. The study therefore, recommends that: Policy makers’ and all stakeholders’ attention should be drawn to improving the status and performance of the peripheral health facilities, improving the outlook image of the primary health facilities and making them environmental friendly.
Keywords: Alternative Medicine, Health Facilities, Rural Area, Underutilization
JEL Classification: SSRN_ID2187770_code1928507.pdf
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation