Health seeking behaviour and challenges in utilising health facilities in Wakiso district, Uganda
Background: The health seeking behaviour of a community determines how they use health services. Utilisation of health facilities can be influenced by the cost of services, distance to health facilities, cultural beliefs, level of education and health facility inadequacies such as stock-out of drugs.
Objectives: To assess the health seeking practices and challenges in utilising health facilities in a rural community in Wakiso district, Uganda.
Methods: The study was a cross sectional survey that used a structured questionnaire to collect quantitative data among 234 participants. The sample size was obtained using the formula by Leslie Kish.
Results: While 89% of the participants were aware that mobile clinics existed in their community, only 28% had received such services in the past month. The majority of participants (84%) did not know whether community health workers existed in their community. The participants’ health seeking behaviour the last time they were sick was associated with age (p = 0.028) and occupation (p = 0.009). The most significant challenges in utilising health services were regular stock-out of drugs, high cost of services and long distance to health facilities.
Conclusions: There is potential to increase access to health care in rural areas by increasing the frequency of mobile clinic services and strengthening the community health worker strategy.
Key words: Health seeking behaviour, Rural community, Health facilities, Challenges, Uganda