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The study focused on the Evaluation of Health Inequity Status of Youths Among Households. The socio-economic characteristics of the respondents were identified, there was assessment of the health inequity and the health status of the youths of Uyo Local Government Area. The study was based on expo facto research type and cross sectional survey design was adapted. A sample size of 181 respondents was selected through multi-stage sampling procedure. Data were collected through well structured questionnaire and descriptive and inferential statistics were used. Composite index analysis, frequency counts and percentages were also used to answer the research objectives while multiple regression model was used to test the hypotheses of the study. The result revealed that there was a significant relationship between the determinants of health and health inequity status. Findings show that 40.9% of the respondents have low health equity status, 57.5 have average status and only 1.7% have high health equity status.



1.1           Background to the Problem of the Study:

          Health disparities refers to differences in health condition across individuals in a given geographical setting. Thus, this give rise to the term health inequity. The differences in health conditions arise out of how frequently diseases affect an individual, how many people get sick or how often the disease can cause death. Indeed, living in cities increases exposure to unhealthy environments (Journal of health, 2001). Health inequities dominate global health today. Evidence, suggest that this is particularly true in cities with a high population. The urban setting is a social determinant of health in itself (WHO, 2001).

          While it is said that everyone should be on the pathway to good health, there are significant factors that causes health inequity (Journal of health inequity, 2002). The challenge of reducing health disparities will require sustained commitment from both health agencies and also a wide array of community partners in education, employment, transportation, social services, housing and from the public at large.

          Equity in health is achieving the highest level of health for all people. Health inequity entails focused societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities by equalizing the conditions for health for all groups, especially for those who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage or historical injustices (From health people, 2020). Equity in health is the absence of systematic disparities in health between groups with different levels of underlying social advantage, that is wealth, power or prestige. (Braveman, 2002).

          However, integrated interventions that support community action through participation and empowerment have been shown to reduce health risks, improve health outcomes and promote better quality of life.(WHO,2011). These inequities are health differences which are socially produced, systematic in their distribution across the population and unfair (Journal of health inequity, 2010). They are regarded as differences in health status or in the distribution of health determinants between different population groups (WHO,2010).

          Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom State could be considered as one of the emerging and rapidly expanding city for reason of population density. Within Uyo capital city, differences in health can be observed across the households, especially the population that patronises least cost health care services or outlets.

          Genetic and constitutional variations ensure that the health of individuals varies as it does for any other physical characteristics. The prevalence of illness and access to health services also differs between different age groups with older people intending to be sicker than young people. People from lower socioeconomic groups tend to be more exposed to health hazards in the physical environment. They experience more psychosocial stress. They suffer more material deprivation like poor nutrition and inadequate housing. Health inequities results from an unfair and avoidable differences in health status. This is seen within the society. (Journal of WHO, 2011).

          Social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow live, work and age, including the health system. These circumstances are shaped by the distribution of money, power and resources at global, national and local levels which are themselves influenced by policy choices. Thus, the social determinants of health are mostly responsible for health inequities.(Journal of  WHO, 2011). Social inequities in health refers to those health inequalities that are systematic, socially produced and are judged to be unfair and unjust.

          Some of the determinants of health as highlighted by the world health organization(WHO) includes : socioeconomic status, housing, food security, poverty and health care services.(Journal of WHO, 2011). Socioeconomic status is the social standing of an individual or group in terms of their income, education and occupation. Low socioeconomic status youths are more likely to suffer negative health shocks than high socioeconomic status youths.(Newacheck,1994). Low socioeconomic status youths is associated with increased morbidity and mortality.(Adler,1994). Youths that don’t have access to health care services often die in their sickness or suffer chronic diseases. Youths that live in severe poverty always encounter low nutrition.(Cemero,2011). Income is proportional to quality food. The nutritive values of food largely contributor to an individuals health.

1.2       Statement of the problem

          Despite the availability of health care services in Nigeria, how many youths are able to gain access to it. Many researchers have analysed different determinants of health. Results of their study showed that there is a significant relationship between health status and the social determinants of health(socioeconomic well-being status, behavioural risk factors, social inclusion, food security and housing/living condition). In an area like Uyo city, could this factors apply to the attainment of health equity among youths within  households in Uyo local government area? Could socioeconomic well-being status, behavioural risk factors, social inclusion, food security and housing/living condition have influence on health equity among youths within farming households in the study area? This study seeks to investigate the factors that determine health equity among youths within farming households in the study area.

1.3       Objectives of the study

          The general objective of the study is to evaluate the interaction between social determinants of health and the status of health inequity among youths within households in the study area. To achieve this, the following specific objectives were investigated in the course of the study. They are to

1.                   Identify the socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents.

2.                   Assess the status of health inequity among youths in the study area.

3.                   Analyse the variations health inequity in profile across the youths in the study area.

4.                   Assess the social determinants (socio-economic well-being status, behavioural risk factors, social inclusion, food security and housing/living condition) of health inequity in the study area.

1.4       Hypotheses of the study

The hypotheses for the study was stated in the null and alternative form.

          Null hypothesis (Ho): There is no significant relationship between the social determinants of health and health inequity status.

           Alternative hypothesis (HA): There is a significant relationship  between the  social determinants of health and health inequity status.

1.5       Justification of the study

          Generally, the study will help the government, agencies and citizens of Akwa Ibom State to understand the status of health inequity.The study will suggest some intervention strategies of reducing health disparities. The study will attempt to show the evidence that exist between the determinants of health and health inequity status.

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