Factors influencing health seeking behaviour are similar across populations, but how they interact and influence the actions of the people is often unique to a population in the context of the environment they live in. The study therefore, examined factors influencing healthcare utilization among the border residents in southwest Nigeria.
A cross-sectional survey which involved multi-sampling technique was used to select three border communities (Seme, Ilara and Okerete) in southwest Nigeria. Both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were adopted for the study. For the quantitative method, 1200 questionnaires were administered in the three border communities, while the qualitative method adopted both key informant interviews and focus group discussions.
What has been seen here is the pragmatic nature of healthcare services used in the African context. In these regions of Nigeria, people are generally aware of other healthcare services and would take them if available but are confronted with significant barriers and therefore choose that options that are best available to them (traditional medicine), which can be rather dangerous in practice and in use. Health seeking behaviour of border residents was affected by low income, cost and low access to modern Healthcare. Functional, adequate and affordable modern Healthcare facilities should be provided and integrated with traditional Healthcare services.
Keywords: Southwest border, Border communities, Socio-cultural context, Healthcare utilization