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Contextual factors associated with health care service utilization for children with acute childhood illnesses in Nigeria
Authors: Adedokun ST, Adekanmbi VT, Uthman OA, and Lilford RJ
Source: PLOS ONE , 12(3):e0173578. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0173578
Topic(s): Child health
Health care utilization
Country: Africa
Published: MAR 2017
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To examine the independent contribution of individual, community and state-level factors to health care service utilization for children with acute childhood illnesses in Nigeria. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study was based on secondary analyses of cross-sectional population-based data from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Multilevel logistic regression models were applied to the data on 6,427 under-five children who used or did not use health care service when they were sick (level 1), nested within 896 communities (level 2) from 37 states (level 3). RESULTS: About one-quarter of the mothers were between 15 and 24 years old and almost half of them did not have formal education (47%). While only 30% of the children utilized health service when they were sick, close to 67% lived in the rural area. In the fully adjusted model, mothers with higher education attainment (Adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.63; 95% credible interval [CrI] = 1.31-2.03), from rich households (aOR = 1.76; 95% CrI = 1.35-2.25), with access to media (radio, television or magazine) (aOR = 1.18; 95% CrI = 1.08-1.29), and engaging in employment (aOR = 1.18; 95% CrI = 1.02-1.37) were significantly more likely to have used healthcare services for acute childhood illnesses. On the other hand, women who experienced difficulty getting to health facilities (aOR = 0.87; 95% CrI = 0.75-0.99) were less likely to have used health service for their children. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings highlight that utilization of healthcare service for acute childhood illnesses was influenced by not only maternal factors but also community-level factors, suggesting that public health strategies should recognise this complex web of individual composition and contextual composition factors to guide provision of healthcare services. Such interventions could include: increase in female school enrolment, provision of interest-free loans for small and medium scale enterprises, introduction of mobile clinics and establishment of more primary health care centres.