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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 30  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 581-585

Healthcare-seeking behavior of parents and guardians of school children with skin diseases in Umuahia, South East Nigeria

1 Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State, Nigeria
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Alex Ekwueme Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Chikaodili Adaeze Ibeneme
Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_103_21

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Background: Skin disorders are often not regarded as major health problems although they may be an early sign of a serious disease. This attitude may affect the healthcare-seeking behavior of either the parents or guardians of school children that have skin diseases. Knowledge of the source of treatment and care for diseases of the skin will assist in the implementation of important skin health education programs and appropriate measures for the prevention of their diseases. Objective: To identify the source of accessing health care and the factors influencing healthcare-seeking behavior of parents/guardians of primary school children with diseases of the skin in Umuahia, South-East, of Nigeria. Subjects and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study carried out over a four-month period. To select the school children multistage sampling was used. A structured questionnaire administered by the interviewer was used to obtain relevant information. Diagnosis of skin disorder was by clinical examination and laboratory investigations. Analysis of the data was done using SPSS version 20. Results: Skin diseases were identified in 627 (40.2%) out of the 1560 primary school pupils aged 5–15 years. Of the 627 children with skin diseases 423 (67.4%) sought health care outside the hospital while only 204 (32.6%) sought medical care in the hospital. Long waiting time (31.0%) and cost of hospital care (26.6%) were observed to be the most frequent reasons for not seeking medical care from the hospital. Conclusion: About two-third of parents/guardians of school children with skin diseases access health care outside the hospital. Cost of care and waiting time should be reduced to enable access to hospital care.

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