Healthcare Accessibility Barriers Confronting Persons with Disabilities in the Kumasi Metropolis

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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimate that 10% to 15% of developing countries population live with disability. It translates to about 2.4 million to 3.6 million Ghanaians living with disability. Unmet needs to health services are a major challenge to disable persons. However, there is little evidence on healthcare accessibility barriers for disable persons to inform policy design and implementation of appropriate interventions. This study aimed at assessing the extent of healthcare accessibility barriers that persons with disabilities are confronted with. A cross-sectional study involving interviews using semi-structured questionnaires was conducted with PWDs (the physically challenged and the, Hearing and Visual impaired) in the Kumasi Metropolis. The study used a multi-stage sampling to randomly select respondents from five (5) communities; Oforikrom, Subin, Asawase, Tafo and Asokwa. Data were analysed using the SPSS software programme. Data were analysis involved descriptive and analytical statistics at 95% confidence interval. Results showed that although respondents faced physical, communication and medical equipment barriers to healthcare, those with physical and communication barriers had significant relationship with access to the healthcare (p=0.018; p=0.001) whereas those with medical equipment barriers had no significant relationship (p>0.005). The NHIS was used by most respondents as source of payment for healthcare as it had a significant relationship with access to the services (p=0.000), although, it does not cover equipment and other expenses. An average monthly expense on healthcare was GHC 21.46 (USD 6.0) which constitutes 9.8% of respondents’ income such that females and physically disabled spend higher than males and other disability group. Demographic variables such as Community of resident, age and disability type had significant relationship with respondents’ access to healthcare (p<0.005). The study concludes that access to health care among PWDs is limited and varies with types of disability in favour of the physically and communication challenged.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Community Health, School of Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science And Technology, in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (Disability, Rehabilitation and Development),