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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 7-11

Eye health-seeking behaviour of traders in rural Nigeria


1 Department of Ophthalmology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria; Department of Ophthalmology, Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria; Center for Eye Health Research and Training, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria; Center for Eye Health Research and Training, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Adaora Amaoge Onyiaorah
Department of Ophthalmology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jwas.jwas_62_22

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Aim: The aim of this article was to determine the healthcare provider first sought, reasons for the choice, and symptom duration before hospital presentation among traders in rural Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of traders at a rural Nigerian market, selected by systematic random sampling. A structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on sociodemographics, eye disease symptoms, eye care provider first sought, and reasons for choice. The analysis was carried out with Statistical Package for Social Sciences using descriptive and inferential statistics with an alpha level at 0.05. Results: Of the 177 traders, 88 (49.7%) were males and 89 (50.3%) were females. The mean age was 46.5 ± 13.75 years (range 19–72). Of the 83 traders who had ocular symptoms 23 (27.7%) never sought any care. The eye care providers first sought were patent medicine vendors 22 (26.5%), orthodox hospital 17 (20.5%), eye glass vendors 3 (3.6%), and traditional healers 3 (3.6%). The median symptom duration before presentation to an eye health facility was 83 days. Reasons for not seeking orthodox eye care first included cost 33 (39.8%), ‘ailment not serious’ 22 (26.5%), and advice from friends 7 (8.4%). Females were more likely to seek orthodox care (χ2=4.22, P=0.04), whereas males were more likely to feel that their ailment was not serious. Traders aged >50 years were less likely to seek any care for eye ailment (χ2 =8.41, P=0.04). Conclusion: Traders with eye disorders seek care late and most first seek care outside the orthodox hospital. Cost and feeling that ailment was not serious are barriers to seeking orthodox eye care. Eye health education and cost reduction would improve uptake of orthodox eye care services.


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