Examining the Health-Seeking Behaviours of Migrant Female Head Porters in the Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana
This study is a follow-up to an earlier publication which looked at migrant female head porters' enrolment in, renewal and utilisation of the National Health Insurance Scheme in the Kumasi Metropolis. Head porterage in the large urban markets in Ghana comes with several health issues. Research has shown that migrant female head porters are exposed to several physical, social and psychological health risks in their daily encounters with clients. This research, therefore, aims at examining the health-seeking behaviours of migrant female head porters in the Kumasi metropolis using the dimensions of availability, accessibility, affordability, accommodation and acceptability. The researcher used the cross-sectional survey in the context of quantitative approaches. A total of 378 respondents were sampled from the following markets (Asafo, Adum shopping centres, Bantama and Kejetia) in which the migrant female head porters operate through convenient snowball sampling technique. Charts, percentages and tables were used in the data analysis. The study uncovered that the most (67%) preferred healthcare provider among the female head porters was over-the-counter chemical seller. Meanwhile, these service providers pose a serious health risk as they constitute a major source of self-medication. Further discoveries showed that affordability was the primary constraint to quality health-care as 76% of the respondents bemoaned charges at healthcare facilities. The study recommends a comprehensive policy interventions to enhance mass enrolment of female head porters unto the National Health Insurance Scheme to reduce the cost of healthcare among head porters. Finally, to protect the interest of the female head porters, they should form a well-structured and coordinated association to give them a united front to pursue their collective interest and protect them from the challenges they face including the difficulties they face in accessing healthcare.
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