This study examined the determinants of the patronage of available primary health care services by rural women in Osun State, Nigeria. The aim of this study is to provide service delivery authorities with information on the barriers to the patronage of health services. Data for the study were collected from both primary and secondary sources. Descriptive statistics like frequencies, percentage, and mean values were used for analysis. Multiple regression was used to identify determinants, and the double-log functional form had the best fit. 45 health workers and 270 rural women were selected through multi-stage sampling. The study revealed that the pattern of patronage of primary health centres in the study area had a progressive increase over a period of five years (2014-2018) and that most of the respondents (rural women) on average reside 1.85 kilometres away from the health centres. The study concluded that age of respondents (α = 0.928), monthly income (α = 0.018), shortage of well-trained health professionals (α = -0.393), a conducive environment (α = 0.454), cleanliness of the environment (α = 0.320), interpersonal relationship of staff and patients (α = 0.325), timely diagnosis and treatment of health problems by PHC staff (α = 0.395) , ability of staff to prescribe effective drugs for treating diseases (α = 0.756), cultural beliefs (α = -0.289), and nature of the illness (α = -0.510) were major determinants of patronage of PHC services in the study area. These factors, taken together, accounted for 73.6% variation in the level of PHC patronage by rural women. The most popular health services regarded as ‘always available’ to the women were immunization (100%) and general treatment of illness (95.6%). Some of the recommendations of the study are that health facilities should be renovated regularly, and facilities that will make health visits a comfortable experience should be provided. As income was found to be a determinant of patronage, it is also recommended that rural women should be helped to increase their disposable income through private-public partnership support of enterprises.

Author Biography

Dr. Olalekan Odefadehan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication Technology, the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. His research interest is in the area of rural sociology with a focus on rural inhabitants’ health and environment. He has conducted several empirical studies on rural women with the utmost goal of suggesting how to improve their health, job, and environmental conditions. He is currently a sabbatical faculty member in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Extension, Landmark University Omu-Aran, Kwara state, Nigeria. Email: ooodefadehan@futa.edu.ng odefadehan.olalekan@lmu.edu.ng.

Oladoyin Adereti is a postgraduate research student in the Department of Agricultural Extension and Communication Technology, the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. Her research interests are rural public health and gender studies. Email: oladoyintitilope@gmail.com.