Factors influencing accessibility to healthcare amongst HIV/AIDS patients in Palabek refugee settlement and host community.
Opwonya, Isaac Angee
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In Uganda, the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among adults is 6.7 which corresponds to 1.2 million people aged 15 to 64 years living with HIV/AIDS which makes it second to South Africa where 2363 get infected every week. Approximately 75 % of all the global HIV/AIDS-related deaths totaling 1.6 million in 2012 occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, Uganda contributed 5.25% to these deaths. The aim of this study, therefore, was to investigate the accessibility to healthcare amongst HIV/AIDS patients in Palabek refugee settlement and host community. The study was a cross sectional study based on quantitative data collected using semi-structured questionnaires comprised of 200 HIV-positive patients in Palabek refugee settlement and host community. The investigations were made by demographic and social-economic factors. The analysis was done using binary logistic regression model and odd ratios were reported. The results indicated that the majority (68.5 %) of respondents accessed healthcare at the nearest health facility. The main elements of accessibility associated with access to healthcare include; age 36–46 years (p=0.040) and they are 0.3 times more likely to access healthcare than age category 14-18 years, marital status (widow/widowers) (p=0.0021) and they are 0.4 times more likely to access healthcare than single patients, residence (within the camp) (p=0.024) whereby refugees are 3 times more likely to access healthcare than the host community and distance 3km-4km (p=0.000) and >4km (p=0.004) whereby they are 4 and 5 times respectively more likely to access healthcare at the nearest health facility than patients residing within 2km to the nearest health facility. In conclusion, the distance (3km-4km) traveled by the respondents, age category (36- 46years) and residential status of the respondents (within the camp) were associated with access to healthcare and there was relatively high access to healthcare amongst the patients. The study therefore recommends provision of transportation means to HIV patients, providing adult education on HIV care to HIV patients and ensuring increased access to HIV care messages through community outreaches as a key measure of increasing access to healthcare amongst HIV/AIDS patients.