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Determinants of modern health care use by families after a childhood burn in Ghana.
  1. S. N. Forjuoh,
  2. B. Guyer,
  3. D. M. Strobino
  1. Department of Maternal and Child Health, Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.


    OBJECTIVES: This study examined determinants of modern health care use by families after their child aged 0-5 years sustained a burn injury in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. METHODS: A community based survey of children aged 0-5 years was conducted in 50 enumeration areas in the region. Mothers of all children with scars as evidence of a burn were selected for a follow up interview using a standard questionnaire two to three months later. Determinants of health care use were investigated through a multivariate logistic regression using interview responses from mothers of 617 children for whom report on some treatment was given. RESULTS: Overall, 48% of the burned children were taken to a modern health facility for treatment. Of those taken to a modern health facility, 68% were sent within 24 hours of the burn event. Factors with large adjusted odds ratios for modern health care use included wound infection, burns covering 6% or more of the body surface, and third degree burns. Compared with scalds, children with contact and flame burns were less likely to be taken to a health facility, as were burns to rural children, and those given first aid treatment at home. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that families, particularly rural residents, should be educated about appropriate health care seeking practices after a burn.

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