Research

Healthcare utilisation patterns for respiratory and gastrointestinal syndromes and meningitis in Msunduzi municipality, Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, 2013

J M McAnerney, C Cohen, A L Cohen, S Tempia, S Walaza, K K Wong, J Im, F Marks, H Dawood, U Panzner, K H Keddy, C von Mollendorf

Abstract


Background. Public health facilities are used by the majority of South Africans, and healthcare utilisation surveys have been a useful tool to estimate the burden of disease in a given area.

Objectives. To describe care-seeking behaviour in a periurban site with a high prevalence of HIV infection, as well as barriers to seeking appropriate healthcare.

Methods. We conducted a cross-sectional household survey in 22 wards of the Msunduzi municipality in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, from October to December 2013 using a simple random sample of households selected from a 2011 census enumeration. A primary caregiver/adult decision-maker was interviewed regarding demographic data as well as health status and recent self-reported episodes of selected illnesses and healthcare utilisation.

Results. Of the 2 238 eligible premises visited, 1 936 households (87%) with a total of 9 733 members were enrolled in the study. Of these, 635 (7%) reported one or more episodes of infectious illness during the study period. Public health clinics were most frequently consulted for all illnesses (361/635, 57%). Private healthcare (general practitioner, private clinic, private hospital) was sought by 90/635 of individuals (14%), only 13/635 (2%) reported seeking care from traditional healers, religious leaders or volunteers, and 71/635 (11%) did not seek any medical care for acute illnesses. Individuals in the lowest income group were more likely to seek care at public health facilities than those in the highest income group (70% v. 32%).

Conclusions. Public health facility-based surveillance may be representative of disease patterns in this community, although surveillance at household level shows that high-income individuals may be excluded because they were more likely to use private healthcare, and the proportion of individuals who died at home would have been missed by facility-based surveillance. Data obtained in such surveys may be useful for public health planning.

 


Authors' affiliations

J M McAnerney, Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa

C Cohen, Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa; School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

A L Cohen, Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga, USA; Strategic Information Group, Expanded Programme on Immunization, Department of Immunization, Vaccines and Biologicals, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

S Tempia, Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa; Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga, USA; Influenza Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pretoria, South Africa

S Walaza, Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa; School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

K K Wong, Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga, USA

J Im, Department of Epidemiology, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, Republic of Korea

F Marks, Department of Epidemiology, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, Republic of Korea

H Dawood, Department of Medicine, Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Hospital, South Africa; CAPRISA (Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

U Panzner, Department of Epidemiology, International Vaccine Institute, Seoul, Republic of Korea

K H Keddy, Centre for Enteric Diseases, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Services, Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

C von Mollendorf, Centre for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis, National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service, Johannesburg, South Africa; School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Full Text

PDF (269KB)

Keywords

Epidemiology; Public health; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(5):333-339. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i5.13024

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-04-29
Date published: 2019-04-29

Article Views

Abstract views: 1654
Full text views: 970

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here