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Determinants of conventional health service utilization among pastoralists in northeast Ethiopia

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Background: Health service utilization pattern among pastoralists in Ethiopia is not well documented. Available data are very few and mostly institution based. Objective: To assess the determinants of conventional health care utilization among pastoralist communities in northeast Ethiopia. Methods: The study employed a cross-sectional household survey conducted using structured questionnaires administered among 276 mobile and 262 settled subjects within the pastoral area. In addition, reviews of outpatient and inpatient records for the previous year at the local health facilities, as well as focus group discussions among the study communities were conducted to supplement the household survey data. Results: Analysis of the collected data revealed steep distance decay in level of health service utilization, in addition to statistically significant difference in the service utilization between the settled and the mobile pastoralist communities (the odd ratio and 95% CI for utilizing health services of settlers over mobile ones were 1.38 (1.138,1.667) with P value <0.01. Conclusions: The findings show very low health coverage and low utilization of services among mobile pastoralists in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development Vol. 21 (2) 2007: pp. 142-147


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