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Access to health care, reproductive health and disability: A large scale survey in Sierra Leone

GROCE, Nora
TRANI, Jean-Francois
BROWN, Joyce Brown
KETT, Maria
BAH, Osman
MORLAI, Teddy
BAILEY, Nicki
2011

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This is the first study to compare health status and access to health care services between disabled and non-disabled men and women in urban and peri-urban areas of Sierra Leone. It pays particular attention to access to reproductive health care services and maternal health care for disabled women. A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2009 in 5 districts of Sierra Leone, randomly selecting 17 clusters for a total sample of 425 households. All adults who were identified as being disabled, as well as a control group of randomly selected non-disabled adults, were interviewed about health and reproductive health. As expected, we showed that people with severe disabilities had less access to public health care services than non-disabled people after adjustment for other socioeconomic characteristics (bivariate modelling). However, there were no significant differences in reporting use of contraception between disabled and non-disabled people; contrary to expectations, women with disabilities were as likely to report access to maternal health care services as did non-disabled women. Rather than disability, it is socioeconomic inequality that governs access to such services. We also found that disabled women were as likely as non-disabled women to report having children and to desiring another child: they are not only sexually active, but also need access to reproductive health services.

UN Millennium Project 2005 : who's got the power? Transforming health systems for women and children. Task Force on Child Health and Maternal Health

FREEDMAN, Lynn P
et al
2005

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This report has been produced by the Task Force on Child Health and Maternal Health. It identifies technical interventions needed to address the problems of high rates of maternal mortality, continued child deaths due to preventable illnesses, unmet need for sexual and reproductive health services, and weak and fragile health systems. The report also asserts that policymakers must act now to change the fundamental societal dynamics that currently prevent those most in need from accessing quality health care

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