Looking within the household: gender roles and responses to malaria in Ghana

Author: Tolhurst, R.; Nyonator, F.K.

Description: Studies of factors affecting treatment-seeking behaviour for malaria have rarely considered the influence of gender roles and relations within the household. This study supported district-level government workers in the Volta Region of Ghana in conducting a situational analysis of gender inequities in relation to the malaria burden and access to healthcare services for malaria in one community in their district. Qualitative and participatory methods, such as focus group discussions, in-depth individual interviews and ranking exercises, were used. The study found that women who lacked either short- or long-term economic support from male relatives, or disagreed with their husbands or family elders about appropriate treatment-seeking, faced difficulties in accessing health care for children with malaria. This illustrates the significant influence of women’s access to resources and decision-making power on treatment-seeking behaviour for children with febrile illnesses, and the importance of approaching malaria management in the community or household from a gender perspective.

Subject headings: Attitude; Child; Family Characteristics; Female; Gender Identity; Ghana; Health Services Accessibility/standards; Humans; Interpersonal Relations; Malaria/therapy; Male; Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology

Publication year: 2006

Journal or book title: Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Volume: 100

Issue: 4

Pages: 321-326

Find the full text : http://trstmh.oxfordjournals.org/content/100/4/321.short

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Type: Journal Article

Serial number: 168