Abstract: do not have any control over

Abstract:

“Health is
wealth” is a popular saying in almost over the world. Imperatively the attitude
to pay attention to the health is often determined by health seeking behavior
particularly the encouraging and discouraging factors of people thought.
Therefore the present study tried to analyze the factors affecting on Health
Seeking Behavior of married Rural Dalit Women. The current study was carried
out in Tumkur rural district. 
Descriptive research design was adopted to fulfill the framed
objectives. With the help of convenient sampling technique, 120 respondents
were selected as sample size. Self-structured questionnaire was adopted
followed by the personal interview. Both primary and secondary data was
collected. The collected primary data was computed by applying simple
statistical percentage analysis method. The study found that low socio-economic
condition had significant impact on 
health seeking behavior and health care access. Further the study also
found that neglected attitude towards health were the major factors affecting
health seeking behavior among the rural Dalit women.

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Key
Words: Health,
Health seeking behavior, Dalit women.

 

 

Introduction:

Women health status issues have
been gained higher recognisation and renewed political commitment almost in all
the countries of the world in recent decades. The ongoing policies and programs
have enables women to lead healthier lives. Many socio –economic barriers also dispirit
them to search out services from the government, non-government and private
health care settings access necessary health care (UNICEF, 2009).

Health behavior are actions, people
take to be aware of the health state to sustain an optimal state of health by preventing
illness and injury and reach their maximum physical and mental potential. Health
seeking behaviors are those acts people engage to be healthy. Women health
problem are ubiquitous in the country (Rahman,
Md.Habibur, Parveen, & Giedraties, 2016)

Dalit
women of India have been living in the culture of silence throughout the
centuries. They have remained mute expectators to their exploitation,
oppression and barbarity against them. They do not have any control over their
own bodies, earnings, and lives. The extreme expression of violence,
exploitation and oppression against them is visible in forms of hunger,
malnutrition, disease, physical and mental torture, rape; illiteracy,
ill-health, unemployment, insecurity and inhuman treatment. (Ghatak, 2011). It evidently
reflects the poor health status of the Dalit
women. Tanveer Ahmad Dar and R. Saravanan (2015) have revealed that the health
status and utilization pattern of scheduled tribes gives an indication of their
social exclusion as well as an idea of their linkages between poverty and
health. The study found that, Dalits  have poor level of awareness about their health
and health care system, even the communities and inhabitants. The major impediment
in the poor health condition of the them was non-acceptance of professional doctors
in their community. Though, disinclined attitude to seek aid for health issues
stayed significant problem among Dalits
along with two other major problems such as inaccessibility and unaffordable
health care. The health seeking behaviour of a community determines how they
use health care services. Utilization of health facilities can be influenced by
the cost of services, distance to health facilities, cultural beliefs, level of
education and health facility inadequacies such as stock-out of drugs (David,
Boyton, Butler, & Musoke, 2014). Thus their health
status depends on many factors. Hence it is important to understand the major
factors of health seeking behavior of the Dalit
community. Therefore the present study is strived to find out the factors
affecting on the health seeking behavior among the Dalits.

Factors
affecting health seeking behavior

Multifaceted of factors have been
recognized as the leading causes of poor health seeking behavior and
utilization of health care services such as 
poor socio-economic status, lack of physical accessibility, cultural
beliefs and perceptions, low literacy level of the mothers and large family
size. Review of the global literature suggests that these factors can be
classified as cultural beliefs, socio-demographic status, women’s autonomy,
economic conditions, physical and financial accessibility, and disease pattern
and health service issues (Babar & Hatcher, 2004).

This complexity is
reflected in the health seeking behavior, including the use of
home-prescriptions, delay in seeking bio-medical treatment and non-compliance
with treatment and with referral advice. The attitude of the health provider
and patient satisfaction with the treatment play a role in health seeking behavior.
(Babar & Hatcher, 2004). Thus the following
objectives were framed.

 

Objectives
of the study

·        
To study the socio-economic condition of
the respondents

·        
To analyze the factors affecting on
health seeking behavior and utilization of health care services among the rural
Dalit women in Tumkur district.

Methodology

The present study was carried out
in Tumkur rural area among the Dalit
women. The objective of the study is to analyze the factors affecting on health
seeking behavior and utilization of health care services among the rural Dalit women in Tumkur district. The
study is based on cross-sectional study involved 120 respondents. Interview method was followed to collect
the primary data. Data on general socio-economic characteristics, health
seeking behavior and utilization of health care services were drawn from the
primary data collection. Analysis was done by applying simple statistical
method.

Limitation
of the study

The main limitation of this study
is that the findings are limited in terms of generalization and impact since it
was a study conducted in one rural community. There may also have been recall
bias when responding to some of the questions asked. Nevertheless, the data
provides useful information on the health seeking behavior and challenges in
utilizing health facilities in rural communities in Tumkur Rural district.

Results
and conclusion                            

Table
.No.1 Socio-Economic condition of the respondents

Sl.No

Particulars

Responses

Percentage

1

Age

21
to 40

58
%

41
to above

42%

2

Marriage at
the age

Below
18

19%

19
to 25

40%

26
to 30

25%

30
to 35

16%

3

Education
Qualification

Illiterate

8%

Primary

27%

High
school

45%

Pre-University

12%

Degree

8%

4

Occupation

House
wife

49%

Clerical
work

2%

Day
labour

46%

Others

3%

5

Monthly income
of the Husband

2001
to 4000

12%

4001
to 6000

68%

6001
to 8000

13%

10,000
to 15 000

7%

 

The above table indicating the
respondents socio-economic condition profile specifically, on age, marriage at
the age, Educational qualification, occupation, and monthly income of the
respondents.

Majority 58% of the respondents were aged between 21
to 40 years and rest 42 per cent of the respondents were aged to 41 years to
above.

Among the 120 respondents 40% of
the respondents were married at the age of 19 to 25 years, 25% of the
respondents were married between the age group of 26 to 30 years. Followed 19%
and 16 % of the respondents were  married
at the age of below 18 years and 30 to 35 years. Around 59 % of the respondents
were married between the age group of 18 to 25 years.

            Majority 45% of the respondents  were studied upto high school, 27%  of the respondents had completed their primary
education, 12 % of the respondents were  finished pre-university college,  8% of the respondents were  educated up to graduation and rest 8% of the
respondents were illiterate.

Majority
49% of the respondents were housewife, 46% of the respondents were working as
day laborer in other farms, this was the major occupation for their
livelihood.  2% of them were occupied
with clerical work and  3% of them were working
in other type of work.

From the above
table it could be seen that, majority 68% of the respondents were receiving
Rs.4001 to 6000 as monthly income of the husband. 13% were drawing Rs.6001 to
8000, rest 7% of the respondents were receiving Rs.10000 to 15,000 as a monthly
income. It could understand that majority of the respondents monthly income
starts form Rs.2001 to 8000. Most of the women were works as day
labour in other farms.

From the above table, it was found majority of the
respondents were young and middle age. It was also found that 19% of them were
married at below 18 years of age. Marriage before 18 years may affects on women
health by increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases, childbirth, and
obstetric fistulas etc,. Majority of them were finished high-school barely they
can able to read and write. Majority half of them were working whereas 49% of
them were home makers. Half of the respondents were earning Rs.4001 to 6000 as
their husbands monthly income. Overall the socio-economic conditions of the
respondent s were average.

Table
2.  Behavior factors for Health seeking
behavior

Sl.
No

Particulars

Responses

Strongly Agree

Agree

Neither agree
nor Disagree

Disagree

Strongly
disagree

Total

1

Health Consciousness/ Family health
consciousness

27%

56%

7%

8%

2%

100%

2

Knowledge
about the health and illness

18%

25%

25%

31%

1%

100%

3

Low  payment as doctor fee  for health Check up at private

 
40%

 
27%

 
31%

 
2%

0%

100%

4

Affordable
cost from public health settings

8%

59%

29%

4%

0%

100%

5

Lack
of access to government health care centers avoids health seeking behavior

67%

14%

12%

7%

0%

100%

6

Personal
dislikes to visit government hospital

43%

26%

21%

10%

0%

100%

7

Shyness
to disclose the disease

61%

11%

12%

16%

0%

100%

8

Dependency
on others

73%

11%

16%

11%

9%

100%

 

From the above table section gives
detail of the behavior of the 120 
respondents. Further the  table
depicts the behavioral factors which makes  the respondents to seek health care,  particularly on health consciousness,
knowledge about the health and illness, family health conscious, low payment as
doctor fee for health check up at private hospital/clinic and affordable cost from
public health settings etc.,

Majority 56 per cent of the
respondents were strongly agreed that their health consciousness influence them
to seek health care facility. 8 per cent of the respondents were disagreed, 7
per cent of them neither agreed nor disagreed and 2 per cent of them were
disagreed to it.

Among the 120 respondents
respectively 25 per cent and 25 per cent of the respondents were equally agreed
and stayed neutral to the statement of knowledge about the health and illness
influences them to seek health care, 31 per cent of them were strongly
disagreed, 18 per cent of them were strongly agreed, rest 1% of the them were
strongly disagreed.

Majority 40 per cent of them were  strongly agreed that, low payment as doctor
fee for health check up at private clinic influencing them to seek  health care. Followed 27% , 31% and 2% of
them were respectively agreed, neither agreed nor disagreed, and disagreed to
it.

Majority 59 per cent of them
were  agreed, 29% of the respondents were
agreed nor disagreed, remaining 8% and 4% percent of them were disagreed that,
affordable cost of public health settings also plays vital role in influencing
the women to seek health care.

Majority i.e, 67% of the
respondents strongly agreed that, lack of access to government health care
centers in near the area prevents them to seek health care. 14% of them were
agreed and 12% of the respondents neither agreed nor disagreed remaining 7%
of  them were disagreed to it.

It was also significantly noted
that, 43% of the respondents were strongly agreed that they had personal
dislikes to visit government hospitals, 26% of them also agreed and 21% of them
were neutral only 10% of them were disagreed to it.  People belief status on government hospital
treatment is not good. They suspect the treatment results.

The table imperative states that,
majority 61% of the respondents were hesitate to access health care because of
shyness attitude towards disclosing the disease. 11% of them were opined agree,
12% of them were stayed neutral and rest 16% of them were disagreed to it.
Majority of them do not like to disclose the disease and scare to know their
health status

Majority i.e 73% of them strongly agreed they depend
on other to take them to hospital, 11% of them were agreed, 16% of them neutral
11% of them were disagreed to it. As per the respondents opinion most the women
were depends on other family members aid to visit hospital, they scared about
the hospital admission and diagnostic procedures and expects  the presence of  one of their family member with them

From the above analysis it was found that, health
conscious significantly influence them to seek health care and its
utilization,  specifically  low doctoral fee at private clinic, health
conscious of selves/family, knowledge about the health and illness, affordable
cost  in the public health settings  are the motivational behavior factors  for health seeking behavior. Factors such as
personal dislikes to visit government hospital, shyness to disclose the
disease, dependency on others to take them to hospital and majorly lack of
access to government health care canters avoids health seeking behavior among
them.

Table.3
Utilization of Health care among the respondents during ill health

Sl.
No

Particulars

Responses

Always

Sometimes

Rare

Total

1

Used
Health facility at primary health center

22%

67%

11%

100%

2

Health
facility at private doctors

41%

42%

17%

100%

3

Used
pharmacy drug

76%

13%

11%

100%

4

Used
traditional healer

29%

62%

9%

100%

5

Self
treatment with local herbs

44%

38%

18%

100%

 

From the above table it manifests
the utilization of health care services among the respondents during the period
of ill health. Majority 67% of the respondents were opined sometimes they use
health facility at primary health center, 22% of them were always and only 11%
of them were rarely utilizes the primary health centers.  It was orally omitted by the respondents
that, they can not find the doctor in all the days, they have prejudiced about
the government hospitals. Majority 76% of the respondents were always used to
take pharmacy drug during ill health. Followed 13% and 11% of them were
sometimes and rarely go for pharmacy drug. Majority 62% of the respondents
were  sometimes go for traditional
healer, rest 29% and 9% of them visit to traditional healer always and rare.
44% of the respondents were always takes self treatment with local herbs for
minor disease.  In this study half of
them were indulged in  self-medication
without  consulting the doctor.

 It was found the traditional healer treatment
and  self treatment with local herbs can
be  dangerous to health.  These people should be educated and made
understand that appropriate health care treatment is better for their health.

Conclusion:

The study found health seeking behavior and health
conscious among the Dalit community is
very poor. Changing health seeking behavior and promoting increased usage of
health care services, among Dalit
community is also reflected in National family Health survey report 3 and 4.
Several studies also reveal the poverty and neglected behavior of health were
the main obstacles for poor health status.  The married women were feel shy to disclose their
health problem this also hinder their health seeking behavior. Series of social
work intervention may bring change in the behavior and ensure to utilize the
proper health care facility.

 

Reference
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