Persons living with visual impairments form a major group of people with various types of impairments in African countries. Little has been reported about the means and forms of information they seek to cope with their environment, and studies in Nigeria specifically, have not explored health information-seeking behaviour of visually impaired persons. This paper documents the health information-seeking behaviour of visually impaired persons (VIPs) in Ibadan Metropolis. A standardized questionnaire was administered to 200 VIPs sampled from two health facilities in Ibadan Metropolis. Most (66%) of the VIPs were partially sighted, 43% reported health issues as their most worrying challenge, while 20% reportedly had daily unmet health information needs. VIPs accessed information about medication for ailments from friends (45%), adopted herbal medication (50.5%) and /or indulged in selfmedication (21%). They reportedly had worse health (9.5%) status, while 4.5% reportedly remained worse off emotionally. The study concludes that VIPs considered health challenges and limited access to health information as their major concerns. Care for visually impaired persons should be incorporated in the primary healthcare routine and school health curriculum. Media programmes are also required to sensitise the general public about health information needs of VIPs.
Disability and the Global South, 2018 Vol.5, No. 1