Utilization Factors of Surgical and Antibiotic Treatments for Potentially Blinding Trachoma in Loodokilani Ward, Kajiado County, (Household Survey)
PARSIMEI, RUTH NATAANA
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A number of studies carried out in the county show that poor utilization of eye treatment services is seen as lack of confidence by the community for the eyecare professionals. Various reasons for not accessing eye checkups are multifaceted, although some can be easily addressed than others. This study focused on tertiary (surgical) and secondary (antibiotics) levels of prevention of trachoma. The scope of this study was consistent with the Andersons health utilization model. The study objectives included; To determine the proportion of persons of 18-60 years with potentially blinding trachoma; To determine the proportion of persons with potentially blinding trachoma utilizing surgical and antibiotic therapy; To determine the accessibility of surgical and antibiotic therapy services for persons with potentially blinding trachoma; To determine the social factors influencing utilization of surgical and antibiotic therapy among persons with potentially blinding trachoma. Multistage sampling technique used involved a two-stage sampling process where every location was used as one unit. The initial stage used the random sampling which was used for listing of households of persons with potentially blinding trachoma. The second stage involved going through the listed households to collect data to identify persons with potentially blinding trachoma. The population under study were 422 adults of age eighteen to age sixty years, both male and female. The independent variables included the utilization factors which included, prevalence factors, social factors and accessibility factors of surgical and antibiotic therapy of potentially blinding trachoma whereas the dependent variable was the utilization of surgical and antibiotic therapy. Descriptive statistics was used to find the proportions (i.e. %) for categorical variables while the analytical statistics was used to test the null hypothesis and the factors associated with the dependent variable. Data collection tools included household checklists and community household questionnaires. The proportion of those with disease were 188 (44.5% prevalence). Out of those with disease, only 12.2% were utilizing surgical treatment, 60.1% used antibiotics, and 27.7% went for regular eye checkups. All socio-demographic factors except for gender (p>0.05), influenced utilization. On access, the factors that influenced utilization (p<0.05) were, mode of transport, waiting time, operational hours, and referral systems while on social factors, only cultural beliefs influenced utilization with (p<0.05). All F&E indicators influenced utilization except for impermeable toilet floors and presence of eye seeking flies (p<0.05). The study noted lower utilization of surgical treatment as compared to antibiotic treatment for potentially blinding trachoma. The County Department of Health in Kajiado was recommended to ensure consistent implementations of SAFE (surgical, antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental hygiene) programs to reduce prevalence of disease to 5%, encourage the utilization of surgical and antibiotic treatments through improvement of health infrastructure for easier accessibility of eye care services, and ensure improvement on the social aspect of the community towards utilization of eye care services through positive cultural beliefs and education.