Introduction: During 1986-2009, an estimated 1.6 million persons were internally displaced from northern and
eastern regions of Uganda due to civil war. We investigated accessibility to
and availability of health care services for the internally displaced persons in Kitgum and Pader districts, northern
Uganda. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Kitgum and Pader
districts, northern Uganda. We interviewed a total of 1383 respondents comprising
968 (70%) adults and 415 (30%) adolescents; 60% were females and 40% males, randomly
selected from 35 of 67 (52.2%) internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. We
held 27 key informant interviews and 52 focus group discussions. Data
were entered in EPI data version 3.02 and analysed using SPSS version 12.00 statistical
packages. Findings: Two thirds of the respondents 67.5% lived
within 5 km distance of a health facility. The majority 62.9% of respondents
mentioned that health related information was readily provided. 43.5% of
health providers were always available in a health facility. A quarter 25.1%
of health facilities always had drugs available, while 56.9% of the drugs prescribed
were always available. Two thirds of the respondents 65.9% were satisfied with
the health care services provided. The main reasons for the choice of a
health facility were proximity 29.6%, provision of free treatment 24.7% and
availability of drugs 17.2%. Main barriers to health care access were due to the
lack of financial resources, trained personnel, and inadequate drugs and supplies in the health facilities. Conclusions and
Recommendations: The majority of IDPs lived in close proximity to health facilities and obtained health
care services from public health facilities. Access to health care was determined
mainly by proximity and availability of free services and drugs. Although geographic accessibility to health services was high, lack of finances, information and decision power hindered
access to health care services.
Cite this paper
Orach, C. , Aporomon, J. , Musoba, N. and Micheal, L. (2013) Accessibility and availability of health care services to internally displaced persons, in Kitgum and Pader districts, northern Uganda. Health
, 1433-1442. doi: 10.4236/health.2013.59195
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