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1.1. Background to the Study
Health care seeking behaviour which is a sequence of remedial actions to address perceived ill health, is a complex, dynamic and multidimensional process that is not only influenced by the individual alone but by a broader interaction between the individual, household and community within the constraints of existing factors such as affordability, availability and accessibility (Mazzilli,2009). In seeking health care, people’s behaviour differ in relation to the number and type of health care services sought, which is influenced by the nature of the disease and who is experiencing it within the context of what they believe is the causation; and also, when it comes down to individual choices, people with care options will seek the care that perceivably meets their quality, convenience and cost.
Health care behaviour involves a combination of different responses such as seeking traditional care, spiritual care, drug store services, private and public orthodox care which differ over time, opportunity and circumstance in terms of the type of care individuals seek for themselves and members of their family (Mazzilli,2009). This behaviour of serial or simultaneous engagements with different health care services are probably due to the belief that, one of the services may provide answers as to the cause of the disease or provide some form of relief or cure.
In Nigeria, the practice of home treatment with drugs which could be herbal or, and orthodox medicines bought without prescription from drug stores appear to be a significant health seeking behaviour, as observed in a Nigerian study, were most of the mothers within the first 24 hours of the child’s illness gave them drugs at home (Tinuda,2010). In spite of the fact that, there is widespread popularity of modern health care services especially the private health services which includes both formal and informal drug stores; the traditional and religious health services are still commonly used and according to World Health Organization, at least 80% of people in Africa have used traditional health service at one point or the other in their everyday lives (WHO,2002).
A study in Botswana, found that 95% of patients’ first point of care was an orthodox health facility after which, 47% of these patients subsequently visited a traditional health service . Similarly, a Kenyan study also observed that, the traditional health care treatments coexisted with, and complemented the orthodox health care treatments (Abubukar,2012). Although, the orthodox health care treatments were preferred, the traditional health care treatments were still frequently consulted, especially when the diseases were perceived to be of a supernatural nature, which they attribute as the cause, for whenever treatment with orthodox health care interventions fail (Abubukar,2012)
It is obvious that people, due to a variety of reasons within a variety of contexts, are using traditional health care treatments and probably, increasingly combining them with orthodox health care treatments as observed by their movement back and forth between health services rather than receiving care from one care point (Outwater,2001). This could potentially have significant effects on health; and therefore, it is important to recognize this reality of health seeking behaviour (mackain,2003). In Nigeria, the use of combined orthodox and traditional health care treatments appear to be significant, as prevalence rates of 31%, 61.4% and 63.7% respectively have been reported in different studies (Osemene,2011).
According to Mion (2003), the delivery of health care to the older adults has been recognized to be more complex than that of younger adults because, the elderly persons utilize the majority of health care service while the complex needs have implication for future health care delivery to the geriatric population, specifically in Nigeria, where the number of elderly citizens has been on the increase and their health needs receiving popular recognition. Findings on elderly health issues can be used to guide the formulation of comprehensive health services and health education policies and intervention programs for elderly men and women in Nigeria, (World Health Organization (2006). Moe, (2012), highlights that adults age process and problems related to elderly should be better understood so that effective elderly health prevention can be planned and implemented. The need to improve the delivery of care for older adults in home and community settings will be unavoidable although the broad diffusion of transformative technologies offers a significant means to advance the effort of improving quality and reducing cost of care, (Centre for Technology and Adults age, 2009).
1.2.1. Statement of the Problem
Health care services are a major component towards providing quality living, it is a common problem that such services have poise a greater challenge on the health seeking behaviour of the adults in Abia State. Health Care is a top social problem facing the male adults today the lack of awareness of health care services has poised a treat on the health of the adult male, inadequate and poor health care facility management are some of the factors affecting the seeking behaviour of the adult’s male towards practice and utilization particularly those residing in rural areas and poor implementation of National Health Policy. Majority of the male adults had age associated illnesses such as blood pressure, cardiac problems, diabetes, joint pains, kidney infections, cancer and tuberculosis that take a long time to treat which particularly affect their health seeking behaviour. Male adults in the study area are found to have patronized traditional healers, resorted to self-medication using local herbs or visit chemists‘shops whenever they are sick. This research therefore seek to assess health care seeking behaviour among the male adults in Isialangwa south local government area, Abia state.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study was:
i. To find out the effect of adults age on health care seeking behaviour among the male adult in Isialangwa south local government area, Abia state
ii. To find out the practice of the male adult’s on health care seeking behaviour in
Isialangwa south LGA, Abia state
iii. to find out whether gender has any differences on health seeking behaviour among the male adults in Niger State;
iv. to find out whether the male adult are aware of the health problems affecting them in Isialangwa south LGA.
v. to find out whether educational level has influence on health seeking behaviour among male adults in Isialangwa south.
1.4 Research Questions
In other to address the problem of this research, the following research questions were raised; i What is the effect of adults age on health care seeking behaviour among the male adults in
Isialangwa south LGA?
ii. What is the practice of the male adults on health care seeking behaviour in Isialangwa south LGA?
iii. Does gender has any differences on health seeking behaviour among the male adults in
Isialangwa south LGA
iv. Are the male adults aware of the health problems affecting them in Isialangwa south LGA?
v. Does educational level have any influence on health seeking behaviour among the male adults in Isialangwa south LGA?
1.5 Significance of the Study
The outcome of this study will be significant in the following ways;
1. Motivate law makers to formulate policies regarding health of the male adults’ especially the aged ones, by making sure that appropriate provision of health facility are made available for male adults to access easily when needed in Isialangwa south LGA.
2. Reveal to individual and society including health center that the male adults in Isialangwa south LGA require constant support and care.
3. Non -governmental organization would also find this study useful in designing health education campaign for the male adults especially the age ones in Isialangwa south LGA,
4. The findings or outcome of this study will be of greater benefits to future researchers while researching into similar studies.
5. Motivate the health educators to create awareness that exercise, proper diet and health information can promote health while been male adults in Niger State.
6. Enable the community-based health workers organize health program for the male adults in Isialangwa south LGA.
1.6 Major Hypothesis
HO1. There is no significant effect of age on health care seeking behaviour among the male adults in Isialangwa south LGA.
HO2.1. There are no significant differences on practice of the male adults on health care seeking behaviour in Isialangwa south LGA.
HO3. There are no significant differences among gender on health seeking behaviour among the male adults in Isialangwa south LGA.
HO4. There is no significant difference in the awareness of the male adults on health problems affecting them in Isialangwa south LGA.
HO5. There are no significant differences among male adults of different educational qualification on health seeking behaviour among the male adults in Niger State.
1.7 Scope and delimitation of the Study
The research was delimited to the study of health care seeking behaviour among the male adults in Isialangwa south LGA, Abia state, Nigeria. The respondents for the study comprise of all male adults within the study area.
1.8 Limitation of the Study
The study has the following limitation;
The study used questionnaire as its main instrument. Explanation was made on any statement that was not clear to the respondent.
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