Abstract Limited provision of quality healthcare in Somalia has contributed to infant (109/1000), child (180/1000) and maternal (1,400/100,0000) mortality rates that border the world’s highest (WHO). The self-declared Republic of Somaliland (NW Somalia), with 3.85 million people, is recovering from ruins of conflict. The health sector was hardest hit with distinct challenges in urban and […]
The indigenous population in rural Guatemala has access to a variety of treatments from both the traditional and biomedical realms. A review of the current literature was performed to determine the major factors influencing the decision to seek care and choose a provider. Despite a high prevalence of non-biomedical beliefs among the native population, folk healers are rarely used. Local unlicensed pharmacies are frequently used to obtain advice and medications. Utilization rates of the public health care system in the region are relatively low. Perceived lack of severity of illness, cost, mistrust of the provider, and quality of services as determined by the patient are the major deterrents to seeking medical care in the public health care system. Cost is particularly important as non-traditional medicines are often expensive and biomedical health care providers prescribe medications that patients cannot afford. In addition, government health posts often lack culturally sensitive care creating a significant barrier for indigenous populations. Access to a government health post does not appear to be a major factor in determining health care-seeking behavior. A system that minimizes cost barriers, while providing culturally sensitive care may lead to greater access and use of the public health care system among the Maya in Guatemala.