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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Utilization of Health Care Services in Niger and the Role of Traditional Healers in Health Promotion
Authors:Albar, Hussain M.S.
Khan, M. Mahmud
Mock, Nancy B.
Rice, Janet
Year:1996
Periodical:Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives and Area Studies
Volume:15
Issue:2
Period:June
Pages:29-39
Language:English
Geographic term:Niger
Subjects:healers
traditional medicine
public health
Health and Nutrition
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:The National Health Survey of Niger carried out in 1986-1987 indicates that availability and access to health services play a crucial role in determining the pattern of health service utilization. However, other factors, such as literacy, socioeconomic status, radio ownership and knowledge of preventive services, also influence the choice of treatment and whether a patient is more likely to consult a Western-style practitioner or a traditional healer. Analysis of the data on factors associated with health-seeking behaviour in the case of three common illnesses - diarrhea, fever and serious injury - leads to a number of recommendations for improving health education. For example, self-treatment is the preferred way of dealing with diarrhea, suggesting that health education messages should convey information on how to prepare oral rehydration salt at home. Similarly, the higher confidence placed in traditional practitioners for the treatment of serious injury, irrespective of the availability of Western medical services and household socioeconomic status, indicates the need for a better integration of traditional practitioners in Niger's overall health care delivery system. Bibliogr., sum.
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