Why We Need Access to Health Services
As we discussed earlier, the 3 main ways of how to prevent and treat diseases must be effective. How? By reaching the people who need them.
So, it is our duty as health care providers to make sure these methods of prevention are well delivered.
Most prevention programmes target particular people in the community. They need the programme because they are at risk.
The disease affecting them may be highly infectious or has rising negative outcomes.
For example, an educational programme about HIV/AIDS might target sexually active young adolescents. Reason? Because they are the people at highest risk of HIV infection.
People who need health services may be users or non-users of the services e.g. HIV/AIDS educational programmes may not reach some members of its target population. A good example, lorry drivers may be difficult to reach since they move around so much.
There are many reasons for non-use of services. For services that target people with diseases (secondary and tertiary prevention), reason that a person with the disease is a non-user include the following:
- The person is the early, sub-clinical stage of the disease and does not know that it is present.
- He is in the early clinical stage of disease but does not recognize the symptoms.
- The symptoms of the disease are not severe so, the person can still work.
- His/Her home is too far from the health center or dispensary to get there.
- Is too sick to walk to the health center or dispensary. He/She does not know anyone who could provide transport.
- The individual prefers traditional medications.
STDs caused by infections are very important because they cause complications if not treated.
Among women who wouldn’t seek treatment, half had no symptoms.
Another half had symptoms but would not seek treatment (a study done in S. Africa).
In addition, in the second group with symptoms, some of the reasons given for not seeking treatment may include the following :-
- Not recognizing the symptoms.
- They did not think that treatment was important.
- Lack of money to afford treatment.
- All were afraid to go to the health centre
- They live far from the health centre.
In conclusion, access to health services is an important aspect in our lives.
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