Health care seeking avenues of parents of school-age children with severe health problems in a community in Ghana (pp. 337-341)
Authors: Cecilia Obeng
Abstract: People living in rural areas in Ghana face impediments to accessing hospitals and clinics. This study examines how culture influences health care–seeking behavior, including the healing processes that participants experience in times of illness, in a Ghana community. The study uses narratives provided by twenty parents about their school-aged children with severe health problems. Results from an analysis of the participants’ narratives indicate that participants prefer traditional herbal and/or spiritual ‘clinics’ to modern clinics/hospitals because of the pleasant relationship established with those healers. Participants also attributed their preference for traditional herbal or spiritual clinics to the low fees charged by the clinics. They noted further that questions about their health problems were always promptly answered at the herbal/spiritual clinics, unlike in modern clinics/hospitals, where they had to wait for hours or days due to delays in releasing laboratory results .However, participants complained about the crowded environment of some of the traditional herbal/spiritual clinics .This study recommends making all traditional clinics patient-friendly in order to expedite healthcare delivery in rural Ghana.