Health Seeking Behaviour and Practices for Sicknesses in Rural Communities
Health providers need to know disease burden of communities they serve and the communities' health seeking behaviour and practices.
The study was conducted in 28 villages in eastern part of Maharashtra, India. Diary approach was used by middle school educated couples to collect information about sicknesses over a period and action taken by people. The study participants were 16895 men, women and children in the villages who permitted collection of information. All 1050 husbands and 649 wives recorded information. Overall 1699 people had 2685 episodes of sicknesses (1.58 episodes per person) and health care was taken by 1194 (70.27%) of 1699 for 1704 episodes (63.46%) of sicknesses. Skin disorders were most common but only 23.6% sufferers sought help, 90.5% people with dental problems took action like treatment with clove oil, camphor. Cough cold was mostly treated by ginger paste with honey, cloves, etc. by 30%.
Many villagers do not take action for many sicknesses. Home remedies safe/unsafe are commonly used. There is need of awareness, advocacy and behaviour change for utility of health care system which has to be proactive. Diary approach is useful for collecting information about the sickness burden and action taken by villagers. More research is essential.
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