Friday, February 3, 2017

Inequalities to Healthcare: Implications to Survival of Children


About 7 million death among children under the age of 5 worldwide were recorded in the year 2011(UNICEF, 2012). 41% of these deaths occur in Sub Saharan Africa. Despite the fact that these deaths can be prevented through low-cost public health interventions, the death among these children remains high (Grais RF, Dubray C, Gerstl S, Guthmann JP, Djibo A, Nargaye KD,, 2007). 

Understanding the effect of difficult access to health care, inequality in healthcare outcomes, has become a central issue in public health policy (Karen Davis, 1991)
Recent studies show cultural and resource-related factors stood out as a significant limitation to healthcare services in Nigeria.

Nigeria a multi-ethnic country with diverse cultural practices, find it difficult in obtaining permission to seek medical assistant. In traditional African societies such as Nigeria, culture has a pervasive influence on the way women are being treated. In 1988, the culture policy of Nigeria proves the facts that culture represents the totality of the way of life of a given society. Therefore, discrimination against women tend to seek justification in cultural moves, beliefs, and practices. Most Nigerian women are held down from realizing their full rights as individuals (Abara Chinwe, Julie, 2012)
 For example; Hausa women of Northern Nigeria are often seen in public due to adoption of a very strict form of purdah (that is wife seclusion); as result, many Hausa women are limited to freedom of movement, hence are subject to male dominance and social control (Hugo N, 2012). It has been notified that women in purdah are expected to remain indoors at all cost, even in extreme situations such as child labor, a woman in purdah cannot seek for medical assistance until she is permitted by the husband or personally accompanies her to the hospital (Babalola S, Fatusi A, 2009)
As a result of cultural differences in Nigeria, there are ethnic variations in healthcare utilization. Antenatal and postnatal care are lower among Hausa women compared to Igbo or Yoruba tripes (Ononokpono DN, Odimegwu CO, Imasiku E, Adedini S., 2012). 

Meanwhile, higher level of maternal education has been established as a significant factor for the achievement of improved access to health care services. It has been noted that policies to increase child survival through pathways of improved healthcare access are beneficial to children of better educated mothers. This plays an important role because it shapes the cultures, opinions, customs, norms and attitudes, as well as determine exposure to a range of new ideas and values (UNICEF, 2010). 




REFERENCES

1.      ABARA, CHINWE JULIE. (2012). INEQUALITY AND DISCRIMINATION IN NIGERIA, TRADITION AND RELIGION AS NEGATIVE. DEPUTY DIRECTOR/HEAD LAGOS ZONAL OFFICE, NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURE. Lagos: FEDERAL MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM NIGERIA. Retrieved from http://www.fihrm.org/conference/documents/ChinweAbara.pdf
2.       Babalola S, Fatusi A. (2009, September 15). Determinants of use of maternal health services in Nigeria - looking beyond individual and household factors. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2754433/
3.       Grais RF, Dubray C, Gerstl S, Guthmann JP, Djibo A, Nargaye KD,. (2007, January 4). Unacceptably High Mortality Related to Measles Epidemics in Niger, Nigeria, and Chad. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1761051/
4.       Hugo N. (2012). Purdah: separation of the sexes in northern Nigeria. Retrieved from http://www.consultancyafrica.com/index
5.       Karen Davis. (1991). Inequality and Access to Healthcare . Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/3350204?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents
6.       Ononokpono DN, Odimegwu CO, Imasiku E, Adedini S. (2012, November 28). Contextual Determinants of Maternal Health Care Service Utilization in Nigeria. Women and Health, 647-688. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03630242.2013.826319
7.       UNICEF. (2010). At a glance: Nigeria. Retrieved from www.unicef.org/infobucountry/nigeria_statistics.html
8.       UNICEF. (2012). UNICEF report on child deaths. UNICF. Retrieved from https://www.unicef.org/sowc08/docs/sowc08.pdf


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