Improving service delivery at primary healthcare facilities for achieving universal health coverage: Examining the effects of insecurity in such facilities in enugu state, nigeria

Prince Agwu, Obinna Onwujekwe, Benjamin Uzochukwu, Modest Mulenga

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Abstract

Background: Availability of health services at the primary healthcare (PHC) level is crucial to the achievement of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). However, insecurity of PHC facilities in-spires unavailability of health services. From perspectives of primary health service providers, we examined the effects of insecurity at rural and urban PHC facilities in Enugu, Nigeria. 

Methodology: The study adopts a qualitative method using in-depth interviews and non-partici-pant observation. The study sites were eight (8) PHC facilities (rural/urban) that were purpos-ively selected. The first author interacted with the health workers and made extensive observa-tions on infrastructure, policing, and other security gaps affecting the facilities.

Findings: While health workers wish to provide services as stipulated, the fear of getting hurt or losing their properties to hoodlums scares them, especially during the dusk hours. Owing to infrastructure deficits and lack of security personnel, incidents of losing phones, stolen babies and facility items/consumables, and patients being attacked were said to be recurring. The absence of power supply during the dusk hours tend to heighten their fears, hence health workers close be-fore it gets dark, not minding the consequences on health service users.

Conclusion: The issue of insecurity of lives of both the health workers and their clients is para-mount to the optimal use of services in the PHC facilities. Insecurity is a priority concern for the health workers, and if not addressed could cause them to completely shun working in certain ar-eas, or shun their jobs completely, with dire consequences for the achievement of UHC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalSouth Eastern European Journal of Public Health
Volume2021
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Absenteeism
  • Community policing
  • Insecurity
  • Primary healthcare
  • Universal Health Coverage

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