Socio-economic factors influencing access to healthcare by persons with disabilities in the Kumasi Metro

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November 2015
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It is estimated that about 15% of the world’s population live with disabilities of various types, and the number is increasing due to the rise of chronic diseases, injuries, car crashes, falls, violence and other causes such as ageing. Of this total, 80% live in low-income countries; most are poor and have limited or no access to basic services, including healthcare and rehabilitation facilities. The general objective of the study was to find out the Socio-Economic factors influencing access to healthcare by persons with disabilities in the Kumasi Metro. Qualitative study was carried out. Purposive sampling was used to select the respondents for the study (persons with disabilities and healthcare workers). A case study design was adopted with Kumasi metro as the case, structured interview and focus group discussions were also employed to collect data from the respondents of the study. In all 15 interviews were conducted, 10 in-depth interviews with health workers and 5 focused group discussions with persons with disabilities. Data was analysed based on the themes that emerged during the discussions and responses have been paraphrased to support the data. The study found that the major social factors that influence access to healthcare are cultural explanation of disability, stigmatization, and attitude of health care workers towards persons with disabilities. The economic factors include, cost of treatment and assistive devices, unemployment, poverty, transportation problems. In view of the various findings, it is recommended that there should be review of national health policy programs and implementation to ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities are adequately catered for. Also there should be effective public education for the general public concerning disability.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Community Health, College of Health Sciences in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science (MSc) in Disability Rehabilitation and Development, 2015