Slums’ Access to and Coverage of Primary Health Care Services: A Cross-Sectional Study in Shiraz, a Metropolis in Southern Iran

Document Type: Original Article(s)

Authors

1 HIV/AIDS Research Centre, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Jackson State University, Mississippi, USA

3 Statistics and Information Technology Unit, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Shiraz Geriatric Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

5 Control and Surveillance of Diseases Unit, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

Abstract

Background: The United Nations has predicted that the population of slum dwellers will have grown from one billion people worldwide to 2 billion by 2030. This trend is also predictable in Iran. In the Iranian metropolis of Shiraz, more than 10% of the residents live in slum areas. There are several problems regarding the delivery of social services in these areas. The aim of this study was to evaluate slums dwellers’ access to and coverage of health care. Methods: This cross-sectional face-to-face study included 380 household of slum dwellers via stratified random sampling. Demographics, accessibility of health services, coverage of health care, and route of receiving health services were recorded through interviews. Results: Approximately, 21.6% of the households had no physical access to health centers. The coverage rate of family planning programs for safe methods was 51.4% (95% CI: 48.86-53.9%). Vaccination coverage among children under 5 years old was 98% (95% CI: 97-99%). Furthermore, 34% of pregnant women had not received standard health care due to a lack of access to health centers.Conclusion: Limited access to health services along with inadequate knowledge of slum residents about health care facilities was the main barrier to the utilization of the health care in the slums.