International Journal of Research in Nursing

ANALYTICAL PROBLEMS AND APPROACHES TOWARDS IMPROVING THE UTILIZATION OF PRIMARY HEALTH CARE SERVICES BY THE RURAL COMMUNITIES IN NIGERIA

Shilni Alfred Pukuma

DOI : 10.3844/ijrnsp.2014.5.16

International Journal of Research in Nursing

Volume 5, Issue 1

Pages 5-16

Abstract

Utilization of healthcare services for the most vulnerable and underprivileged populations have been recommended by the World Health Organization as a basic primary healthcare concept. It has been suggested that healthcare should be universally accessible without barriers based on affordability, physical accessibility, or acceptability of services Access to quality health is a basic civic right of all Nigerian citizens. While Primary Health Care (PHC) centers are relatively uniformly distributed throughout Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Nigeria, the rural people tend to underutilize the basic health services. Therefore, this paper assesses some analytical problems and approaches towards improving the utilization of primary health care services by the rural communities in Nigeria. This article examines some cross cutting issues in PHC and outlines approaches to improve the use of health services by rural people. An extensive search of the Pub Med database, Medline and Google Scholar was done to retrieve literature on PHC services and approaches for improving the use in rural community. Furthermore, Pub Med, Medline and Google Scholar searches were conducted using the research title and the related articles link for key publications and additional papers were also identified from the respective reference lists. Non-indexed literature and reports from international organizations were also accessed using Google and organizational websites. Due to the variability in quality of information and the broad range of values reported in published literature and reports, this paper did not attempt to provide any quantitative summary of effects of programs. Instead a review of information is being presented with analysis of overall trends and knowledge gaps. The responsibility for perpetuating the existing low use of PHC services should be held by PHC policy makers and LGA. Responsible health personnel can build a new social order, based on greater equity and human dignity, in which health for all including that of rural populations will no more be a dream but a reality. Capacity building and empowerment of communities through orientation, mobilization and community organization as regards training, information sharing and continuous dialogue, could further enhance the utilization of PHC services by rural communities.

Copyright

© 2014 Shilni Alfred Pukuma. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.