Soc Sci Med. 1987 ; 25(9): 1003-19.
Illness and health behaviour in Addis Ababa and rural central Ethiopia.
Department of Geography, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
This paper examines the results of health surveys among 544 randomly selected households (2829 people) in seven kebele (urban dwellers' associations) in Addis Ababa and Kaliti, an industrial suburb of Addis Ababa, and in four rural villages in two peasant associations. The major objective was to study illness distribution and health behaviour among different socioeconomic and cultural groups in urban and rural communities within the context of available health resources, national health policy and planning. Results show that in spite of the rapid expansion of health services since the Ethiopian revolution serious problems of allocation and access persist. Higher illness prevalance rates were found in rural areas (23.2%), Kaliti (25.5%) and in the low socioeconomic kebele in Addis Ababa (23.9%) than in the high socioeconomic kebele (16.5%), but rural/urban and intraurban differences were greater than reported here due to underreporting. One-third of all illnesses were treated by modern services, 19.9% by self care and 26.0% by traditional medicine and transitional healers, with 21.5% of all illnesses not being treated. Utilization rates varied with type and duration of illness, socioeconomic level, age, sex and place of residence. The role of distance and other contact barriers, treatment outcome and availability of private clinics and alternative health resources in utilization is also evaluated. Coverage of the modern health services was associated with socioeconomic status and mobility of patients as well as availability of health services.