Academic journal article The Indonesian Journal of Geography

An Examination of the Determinants of the Mode of Transport to Primary Health Facilities in A Developing Region

Academic journal article The Indonesian Journal of Geography

An Examination of the Determinants of the Mode of Transport to Primary Health Facilities in A Developing Region

Article excerpt

I. Introduction

Access to primary health facilities is an important determinant of the overall well being of any given population in an area [Obrist et al., 2007; Kumar, 1999; Guagliardo & Mark, 2004; Bagheri, et al., 2005, Jean-Frederic, et al., 2013]. Lack of access can cause ill and ill health perpetuates poverty among the populace. It is in recognition of this importance of health care service that the International Conference on Primary Health Care held at Alma-Ala in 1978 declared that health, which is a state of complete physical, mental and social well being, is a fundamental human right. The separating distance is a major determinant of physical access to primary health facilities especially in rural regions where density of population is often low and settlements are far apart. In rural regions distances to public facilities are usually longer compared to urban areas. However it is often assumed in public facilities location studies in developing regions that users of facilities will walk to them. Thus distance standard in facilities planning are usually based on this assumption of the users walking. For example the government in Ogun state in her policy on health [Ogun State Government, 2010] specify an average distance of five kilometers and maximum distance of ten kilometers to primary health centres. These standards are based on the perceived walking capability of health care service seekers. It has been observed by Rushton [1988] that decision makers don't always research into the basis for setting the ideal distance standard in public facility planning.

Health care service seekers often use different modes of transport to overcome the tyranny of distance by walking or use of commercial or private bicycles and vehicles. In modern times it is often more convenient to use a vehicle than to trek and there is limit to the extent people can walk and are willing to walk to use health facilities. In some developing regions there are areas without mechanized means of transport, there are areas where people cannot afford to pay for transport services and some settlements are remotely located away from primary health facilities. In such situations, will people be willing to walk to use primary health facilities? Following from the question raised, the focus of this study is to identify the factors that will determine whether health care service seekers in a developing region will want to walk to use primary health facility and the extent to which they are willing to walk. Such knowledge will assist the planners in the planning and provision of primary health care facilities. This research paper has been divided into three sections. Section one is the introduction and it discusses the research problem and objective of the study. Also contained in section one is the discussion of the study area, methodology and a review of the literature on access to public facilities. Section two of the paper discusses the research findings and section three is the conclusion.

The study area is discussed here to provide the background information such as the location and the mode of transport available in the area. The area used for this study is Ijebu North local government area of Ogun State, Nigeria. This local government area has been chosen to represent a typical region in the developing world. It consists of three urban centres and the remaining part is rural. This pattern allowed the implication of rural/urban place of residence of an health care service seeker on his readiness to walk to be examined in this study.

The local government area (LGA) has its headquarter in Ijebu Igbo and it is located at the northern end of Ogun state. The local government area is approximately located between latitude 6055' and 70 N and between longitude 3045; and 4005'E. The total land area of the local government area is about 967 square km. The 2006 population of the LGA is 284,336 (National Population Commission). The LGA is bounded to the north by Lagelu LGA of Oyo state. …

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