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 Health  Vol.8 No.10 , July 2016
Health Services Utilization and Health Status of Insured versus Uninsured Nigerian Children with Sickle Cell Disease
Abstract: Introduction: Nigeria accounts for 150,000 infants born with the Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) every year. Children with SCD are affected by the deleterious effect of user fees which reduces affordability and utilization of health services. Evidences supported that institutionalized health insurance increases intensity of utilization. Methodology: The study was conducted at AKTH, Kano, and north-western, Nigeria. The study was retrospective comparative cross-sectional study. 100 patients were enrolled, 50 for each arm. Paediatric SCD clinic outpatients’ records and a specialty designed form containing the variables of interest were used. Data were analysed using Minitab 16. Proportions, percentages, tables, charts and chi squared test were used to compare the two groups. Result: The study found no association between the two groups in the likelihood of being insured based on age (χ2 = 1.478), gender (χ2 = 0.224) and dwellings (χ2 = 0.062). On health services utilization and insurance status, the study revealed that follow up clinic visits, unscheduled clinic visits and emergency room visits were more likely among the insured group compared to the uninsured group. While the health status and insurance status of the two groups over 12 months period showed a significant association with the insured more likely to have improved health status compared to uninsured (χ2 = 28.019, p = 0.0001). Similarly, health status and health services utilization were significantly associated with insurance status (χ2 = 12.191, p = 0.002). Conclusion: The insurance status of children with SCD is associated with their health services utilization and health status. However, age, gender and dwellings were not associated with insurance status of children with SCD. Therefore, when expanding insurance coverage (NHIS) among children with SCD considerations have to be given to increase health services utilization and resultant improvement in health status as these have the potential of reducing morbidity and mortality among children with SCD.
Cite this paper: Salihu, A. and Umar, A. (2016) Health Services Utilization and Health Status of Insured versus Uninsured Nigerian Children with Sickle Cell Disease. Health, 8, 971-977. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.810100.
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