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Distance and the utilization of health facilities in rural Nigeria

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  • Stock, Robert

Abstract

The distance patients must travel in order to obtain treatment has long been recognized as a primary determinant of the utilization of health care facilities. The distance factor is especially significant in rural Third World settings where the density of Western-type health facilities is often low, where the majority of patients are likely to make the journey for treatment as pedestrians and where there are viable and usually more accessible alternate sources of medicine. This study examines the impact of distance on the utilization of health care facilities in the Hadejia area of Kano State, Nigeria. Per capita utilization was found to decline exponentially with distance. The rate of distance decay in utilization levels varies according to the type of facility, socio-demographic variables and illness. Hausa perceptions about sickness and about specific illnesses are reflected in the varying incidence of health facility utilization in the treatment of particular illnesses and distance decay gradients of varying steepness. Although the per capita consumption of health care decreases exponentially for concentric distance bands, individual villages show great disparities in utilization rates which are only partly attributable to distance.

Suggested Citation

  • Stock, Robert, 1983. "Distance and the utilization of health facilities in rural Nigeria," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 17(9), pages 563-570, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:17:y:1983:i:9:p:563-570
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    Cited by:

    1. Leonard, Kenneth L., 2002. "When both states and markets fail: asymmetric information and the role of NGOs in African health care," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-80, July.
    2. Aoun, Nael & Matsuda, Hirotaka & Sekiyama, Makiko, 2015. "Geographical accessibility to healthcare and malnutrition in Rwanda," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 135-145.
    3. Gulati, Namrata & Ray, Tridip, 2016. "Inequality, neighbourhoods and welfare of the poor," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C), pages 214-228.
    4. Johns, Benjamin & Steinhardt, Laura & Walker, Damian G. & Peters, David H. & Bishai, David, 2013. "Horizontal equity and efficiency at primary health care facilities in rural Afghanistan: A seemingly unrelated regression approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 25-31.
    5. Yao, Jing & Murray, Alan T. & Agadjanian, Victor, 2013. "A geographical perspective on access to sexual and reproductive health care for women in rural Africa," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 60-68.
    6. Saturnin Bertrand Nguenda Anya & Atanase Yene, 2016. "The determinants of the choice of treatment of pregnant women in Cameroon," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-9, December.
    7. Murawski, Lisa & Church, Richard L., 2009. "Improving accessibility to rural health services: The maximal covering network improvement problem," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 102-110, June.
    8. Tanser, Frank & Gijsbertsen, Brice & Herbst, Kobus, 2006. "Modelling and understanding primary health care accessibility and utilization in rural South Africa: An exploration using a geographical information system," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 691-705, August.
    9. de Vries, H. & van de Klundert, J.J. & Wagelmans, A.P.M., 2013. "Health Benets of Roadside Healthcare Services," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2014-01, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    10. Benjamin Johns & Rob Baltussen, 2004. "Accounting for the cost of scaling-up health interventions," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(11), pages 1117-1124.
    11. repec:eee:touman:v:35:y:2013:i:c:p:32-40 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Shengelia, Bakhuti & Tandon, Ajay & Adams, Orvill B. & Murray, Christopher J.L., 2005. "Access, utilization, quality, and effective coverage: An integrated conceptual framework and measurement strategy," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 97-109, July.
    13. Jehu-Appiah, Caroline & Aryeetey, Genevieve & Spaan, Ernst & de Hoop, Thomas & Agyepong, Irene & Baltussen, Rob, 2011. "Equity aspects of the National Health Insurance Scheme in Ghana: Who is enrolling, who is not and why?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 157-165, January.
    14. John Gunnar Carlsson & Erik Carlsson & Raghuveer Devulapalli, 2016. "Shadow Prices in Territory Division," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 893-931, September.
    15. Hodgkin, Dominic, 1996. "Specialized service offerings and patients' choice of hospital: The case of cardiac catheterization," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 305-332, June.

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