Original Research Article
Year: 2018 | Month: July | Volume: 8 | Issue: 7 | Pages: 259-264
Health-Seeking Behaviour of Malaria Patients in Lagos, Nigeria
Itunu O. Dave-Agboola1, Joshua I. Raji2
1Department of Public Health, Texila American University, Nicaragua.
2Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL.
Corresponding Author: Itunu O. Dave-Agboola
Malaria is a major public health challenge and a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Nigeria especially in its contribution to infant and maternal mortality. The World Health Organization has emphasized that the diagnosis and treatment for malaria should occur within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms to decrease the risk of severe complications and onward transmission. The outcome of malaria in patients largely depends on their health seeking behavior. The pattern of health seeking behavior however depends on sociocultural factors, attitudes and beliefs. This study assessed the health seeking behavior of malaria patients in Lagos, Nigeria with relation to health care Financing. A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in 465 participants in Agege Local Government Area (LGA) of Lagos State, Nigeria. Patients were selected by stratified sampling from 16 wards in Agege LGA. Data were collected by the use of a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. It was estimated that 78.9% of participants experienced a delay in seeking treatment. This research reports that only 3.9% (18) of respondents had visited a traditional healer, while 84.1% (391) attempted self-treatment by either taking ‘left-over’ drugs at home or drugs purchased from a convenient shop to relieve malaria. This study confirmed the socioeconomic and demographic vulnerability of the populace, which contributed to difficulties in prompt seeking of medical services, the burden of cost, choices of healthcare providers, methods of funding healthcare and coping strategies.
Key words: Health, Malaria, Patients, Nigeria, Behavior, Medicine.