How Health budgets affects the health seeking behaviour among slum dwellers of Mukuru Fuata Nyayo, Makadara Division of Nairobi
Litali, Grace Amunga
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In Kenya most of the urban poor who live in the slums informal settlements contribute to the high indices of poor health in the urban areas. Most studies done on health seeking practices have focused on the general population, yet the urban poor have not been studied as a group. This descriptive cross sectional study aimed to focus on the health seeking practices of individual families living in Mukuru Nyayo slum in Nairobi in relation to the amount of money spent on health care per month. Sampling was done in stages. First, (Mukuru Nyayo) was divided into five administrative sub-locations. Each of the five sub-locations was r egarded as a c luster. S ystematic sa mpling w as carried o ut w ithin each c luster t o identify the households that were studied. Questionnaires were used to determine households' incomes, amount spent on health care, food and rent and where they sought for health care services. 400 respondents were interviewed, and 49% sought health care from a catholic mission health facility nearby. There was a significant statistical association. between the cost of health care (45% spent less than 100 shillings) and the health facility where they went when sick. (X²= 282.01; P < 0.05; df = 6). Respondents who earned between 1000 - 5000 shillings were 45%, a significant association was found between health care facilities sought and household incomes (X² = 38.52; p < 0.001; df = 6). Of the slum residents interviewed who earned more than 5000 shillings, 42.3% spent more than 1000 shillings on medical care as compared to 72% who earned nothing and spent less than 100 shillings on health services (X² = 70.05; p < 0.05; df = 9). As a recommendation, the people who build houses (landlords) in Mukuru Fuata Nyayo, should be prevailed upon to build toilets before renting them out to tenants. Lack of toilets contributed to unhygienic standards in the area and was attributed by 14.5% of the respondents as a cause to poor health. Privately owned health care facilities should be routinely inspected by the Ministry of Health to ensure that the services they offer are professional and not harmful to the residents. This information will assist health planners provide and implement health packages, which are accessible and affordable for urban slum dwellers.
- MST-Zoological Sciences