Socio-economic factors responsible for poor utilisation of the primary health care services in a rural community in Nigeria

Niger J Med. 2001 Jan-Mar;10(1):28-9.


A cross-sectional study was designed to gather information from 360 mothers of children under 5 years of age in order to find out the factors that affected utilisation of primary health care (PHC) services available in Barkin Ladi, a rural Local Government Area (L.G.A) in Plateau State, Nigeria. Of the 360 mothers interviewed using a structured questionnaire 357 (99.2%) were analysed. The major factors that cause non-attendance of the available services in the LGA included the high costs of drugs (29%) and service charges (19%), easy access to traditional healers (39%) and difficulty in getting transport to a health facility (30%). The unfriendly attitude of the health workers (3.6%) and the wasting of patients' time at the facility (7.8%) did not constitute serious constraints at attendance of facilities for use of services. Recommendations suggested for corrective measures included raising the standard of health workers through training, provision of integrated services at all Primary health Care (PHC) facilities, the introduction and sustenance of facility level through the Revolving Drug Fund Scheme.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Costs / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Health Services Accessibility / standards
  • Humans
  • Medicine, African Traditional
  • Mothers / education
  • Mothers / psychology*
  • Needs Assessment
  • Nigeria
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / psychology*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care / economics
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Rural Health Services / economics
  • Rural Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Total Quality Management