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Original Research Articles

Socioeconomic Factors Hindering Access to Healthcare by Persons with Disabilities in the Ahanta West Municipality, Ghana

Authors:

Henry Abuaku Howard ,

Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, GH
About Henry Abuaku
Howard holds an M.Sc. degree in Disability, Rehabilitation and Development from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. His interest areas are: Disability rights advocacy, disability education and prevention.
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Anastasia Baisiwa Rhule

Ahanta West Municipal Assembly, GH
About Anastasia Baisiwa
Rhule has a B.A. degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology,Kumasi and works with the Social Welfare Department of the Ahanta West Municipal Assembly. She is a Social Welfare Officer and supports persons with disabilities.
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Abstract

Purpose: An estimated 15% of the world’s population lives with disabilities of various types and 80% of them are in low-income countries, with limited or no access to basic services including healthcare and rehabilitation facilities. The general objective of the study was to determine the socioeconomic factors that hinder access to quality healthcare by persons with disabilities in the Ahanta West Municipality of Ghana.

Method: A qualitative study was carried out. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants (persons with disabilities and healthcare workers). Data was collected through 10 in-depth interviews with health workers and 5 focus group discussions with persons with disabilities. Data was analysed based on the themes that emerged during the discussions.

Results: The major social factors found to hinder access to quality healthcare were cultural explanations of disability and its causes, stigmatisation, and attitudes of healthcare workers towards persons with disabilities. The economic factors that created barriers include costs of treatment and assistive devices, unemployment, poverty, and transportation problems.

Conclusion: A review of national health policy programmes and their implementation to ensure that the needs of persons with disabilities are adequately catered for. This study reveals that the current health policies and subsequent health services are not adequately considering the needs of persons with disabilities. It is recommended also, that there is the need for a change in attitude by the general public towards persons with disabilities. This in particular is a role of influential stakeholders such as government and NGOs engaging on effective public education to bring to the notice of the general public the meaning and cause of disability in order to reduce the way at which disability is explained from a cultural point of view.

How to Cite: Howard, H.A. and Rhule, A.B., 2021. Socioeconomic Factors Hindering Access to Healthcare by Persons with Disabilities in the Ahanta West Municipality, Ghana. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 32(2), pp.69–87. DOI: http://doi.org/10.47985/dcidj.419
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Published on 29 Jul 2021.

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