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Factors associated with treatment-seeking for malaria in urban poor communities in Accra, Ghana

Awuah, RB; Asante, PY; Sakyi, L; Biney, AAE; Kushitor, MK; Agyei, F; De-Graft Aikins, A; (2018) Factors associated with treatment-seeking for malaria in urban poor communities in Accra, Ghana. Malaria Journal , 17 , Article 168. 10.1186/s12936-018-2311-8. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: In Ghana, about 3.5 million cases of malaria are recorded each year. Urban poor residents particularly have a higher risk of malaria mainly due to poor housing, low socio-economic status and poor sanitation. Alternative treatment for malaria (mainly African traditional/herbal and/or self-medication) is further compounding efforts to control the incidence of malaria in urban poor communities. This study assesses factors associated with seeking alternative treatment as the first response to malaria, relative to orthodox treatment in three urban poor communities in Accra, Ghana. METHODS: This cross-sectional study was conducted in three urban poor localities in Accra, Ghana among individuals in their reproductive ages (15-59 years for men and 15-49 years for women). The analytic sample for the study was 707. A multinomial regression model was used to assess individual, interpersonal and structural level factors associated with treatment-seeking for malaria. RESULTS: Overall, 31% of the respondents sought orthodox treatment, 8% sought traditional/herbal treatment and 61% self-medicated as the first response to malaria. At the bivariate level, more males than females used traditional/herbal treatment and self-medicated for malaria. The results of the regression analysis showed that current health insurance status, perceived relative economic standing, level of social support, and locality of residence were associated with seeking alternative treatment for malaria relative to orthodox treatment. CONCLUSIONS: The findings show that many urban poor residents in Accra self-medicate as the first response to malaria. Additionally, individuals who were not enrolled in a health insurance scheme, those who perceived they had a low economic standing, those with a high level of social support, and locality of residence were significantly associated with the use of alternative treatment for malaria. Multi-level strategies should be employed to address the use of alternative forms of treatment for malaria within the context of urban poverty.

Type: Article
Title: Factors associated with treatment-seeking for malaria in urban poor communities in Accra, Ghana
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s12936-018-2311-8
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-018-2311-8
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Malaria, Treatment seeking, Urban poor communities, Accra, Ghana
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > SHS Faculty Office
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > SHS Faculty Office > UCL Institute for Advanced Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078428
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