Spuits, Stuips, and Saline Drips: Health-Seeking Behaviour for Childhood Illnesses in Urban South Africa

Natalie Spark-du Preez, Loughborough University
Paula Griffiths, Loughborough University
Noel Cameron, Loughborough University

This exploratory study investigates the main factors influencing choice of health-care provider for Black children under 6 in Johannesburg and Soweto using both qualitative and quantitative methods. In-depth interviews with caregivers, traditional healers, nurses, pharmacists, as well as focus groups with caregivers, guided the survey questionnaire design and provide contextual information. A utilisation-based survey was conducted with Black caregivers (n = 206) from public clinics, private clinics, public hospitals and traditional healers. It was hypothesized that illness aetiology and caregiver beliefs lie at the centre of the 'spheres of influence'. Other determinants include family beliefs, social networks and support, as well as characteristics of the caregiver, the health care provider, efficacy of the treatment and enabling factors. These data will provide a better understanding of the determinants of choice of health care provider and how they interact to shape patterns of resort in the South African context.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Applied Demography, Methods, Health and Mortality