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BACKGROUND፡ Primary health care (PHC) centers help in providing a complete, universal, unbiased, and reasonable healthcare service to all. One major aim of PHC is to reduce health inequality. Most PHC centers in Nigeria cannot deliver fundamental healthcare services due to staffing, equipment distribution, quality infrastructure, and drug supply problems. The objective of this study was to assess the awareness and utilization of PHC services in a rural community in Nigeria.
METHODS: The study was carried out in a pastoral area in Ekiti State, Nigeria. A multistage sampling procedure was used to recruit adults aged 18 years and over residing in 361 households. A semi-structured questionnaire was utilized for data compilation. Study data were evaluated using IBM SPSS version 28.0 and reported using descriptive and inferential statistics. Chi-square test and binary logistic regression were used to assess the associated factors and predictors of PHC utilization.
RESULTS: The proportion of those who had ever utilized PHC services was 45.7%. Significant predictors of the utilization of PHC centers include knowledge of the location of a PHC center, awareness that PHC centers operate 24 hours every day, and awareness that community members are part of the PHC staff.
CONCLUSIONS: Non-availability of medical personnel and ease of access to secondary and tertiary health institutions are potential threats to the use of PHC facilities.