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Assessment of the utilization of health services among urban slum population in Southern Rajasthan

Dilip Kumar L, Nitesh Mangal, Meet Chauhan, K A Varghese.


Background: Urban slums consist of the vulnerable population for whom the affordability and accessibility of health care is constrained due to various reasons. The occurrence of various diseases in slums can be prevented by increasing access as well as utilization of available health care services.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the sociodemographic profile of families residing in a selected urban slum area and to study the association between sociodemographic characteristics of families with utilization of available health services by them.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from May 2013 to December 2013 among 300 families residing in selected urban slums. The information regarding sociodemographic factors and utilization of health services, causes of non-utilization of health services, and preferred mode of treatment during the past 6 months were collected from the head of the family. The association of sociodemographic factors with utilization of health services was tested using Chi-square test.

Results: There were 898 (53.20%) males and 790 (46.80%) females in 300 selected families. It was found that 84 (28.00%) head of family were illiterate and 216 families (72.00%) belonged to lower socioeconomic status. The number of families not using any type of health facility was 82 (27.33%).

Conclusion: The literacy level of the head of family and socioeconomic status of family was found significantly associated with utilization of health services. Hence, focus should be given to improve the education level and behavior of the persons to adopt the health services and increase the efficiency of the health system.

Key words: Urban Slum; Family; Health Services; Utilization

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