Perceived barriers to accessing Female Community Health Volunteers’ (FCHV) services among ethnic minority women in Nepal: A qualitative study

Sarita Panday, Paul Bissell, Edwin Van Teijlingen, Padam Simkhada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite the efforts of community health workers to increase access to healthcare among ethnic minority groups in low- and -middle income countries, members of ethnic minorities are less likely than women from other ethnic groups to use maternal and child healthcare services. However, much less is known about the factors that limit access of ethnic minorities to healthcare services, including the services of community health workers in Nepal, who are known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs). To address this issue, we conducted a qualitative study to explore perceived barriers to accessing maternal and child healthcare services among ethnic minority groups in two different geographical locations (the hill and Terai regions- flatland bordering south India) with varying degrees of access to local healthcare centres. Between April 2014 and September 2014, semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty FCHVs, 26 women service users and 11 paid local health workers. In addition, 15 FCHVs participated in four focus group discussions. A thematic analysis of the data identified five major themes underlying barriers to accessing available maternal and child healthcare services by ethnic minority groups such as Dalits, Madhesi, Muslim, Chepang and Tamang. These themes include: a) lack of knowledge among service users; b) lack of trust in volunteers; c) traditional beliefs and healthcare practices; d) low decision-making power of women; and e) perceived indignities experienced when using health centres. We conclude that community health programmes should focus on increasing awareness of healthcare services among ethnic minority groups, and the programmes should involve family members (husband and mothers-in-law) and traditional health practitioners. Both the FCHVs and local healthcare providers should be trained to communicate effectively in order to deliver respectful care among ethnic minorities if we want to achieve universal healthcare coverage for maternal and child health in low- and -middle income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0217070
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS One
Volume14
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2019

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community health
Community Health Services
Nepal
health services
volunteers
Volunteers
Health
Delivery of Health Care
Minority Groups
Ethnic Groups
Mothers
community health workers
income
Universal Coverage
Islam
Muslims
focus groups
Focus Groups
Spouses
Geographical Locations

Cite this

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abstract = "Despite the efforts of community health workers to increase access to healthcare among ethnic minority groups in low- and -middle income countries, members of ethnic minorities are less likely than women from other ethnic groups to use maternal and child healthcare services. However, much less is known about the factors that limit access of ethnic minorities to healthcare services, including the services of community health workers in Nepal, who are known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs). To address this issue, we conducted a qualitative study to explore perceived barriers to accessing maternal and child healthcare services among ethnic minority groups in two different geographical locations (the hill and Terai regions- flatland bordering south India) with varying degrees of access to local healthcare centres. Between April 2014 and September 2014, semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty FCHVs, 26 women service users and 11 paid local health workers. In addition, 15 FCHVs participated in four focus group discussions. A thematic analysis of the data identified five major themes underlying barriers to accessing available maternal and child healthcare services by ethnic minority groups such as Dalits, Madhesi, Muslim, Chepang and Tamang. These themes include: a) lack of knowledge among service users; b) lack of trust in volunteers; c) traditional beliefs and healthcare practices; d) low decision-making power of women; and e) perceived indignities experienced when using health centres. We conclude that community health programmes should focus on increasing awareness of healthcare services among ethnic minority groups, and the programmes should involve family members (husband and mothers-in-law) and traditional health practitioners. Both the FCHVs and local healthcare providers should be trained to communicate effectively in order to deliver respectful care among ethnic minorities if we want to achieve universal healthcare coverage for maternal and child health in low- and -middle income countries.",
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Perceived barriers to accessing Female Community Health Volunteers’ (FCHV) services among ethnic minority women in Nepal : A qualitative study. / Panday, Sarita; Bissell, Paul; Teijlingen, Edwin Van; Simkhada, Padam.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 14, No. 6, e0217070, 10.06.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Perceived barriers to accessing Female Community Health Volunteers’ (FCHV) services among ethnic minority women in Nepal

T2 - A qualitative study

AU - Panday, Sarita

AU - Bissell, Paul

AU - Teijlingen, Edwin Van

AU - Simkhada, Padam

PY - 2019/6/10

Y1 - 2019/6/10

N2 - Despite the efforts of community health workers to increase access to healthcare among ethnic minority groups in low- and -middle income countries, members of ethnic minorities are less likely than women from other ethnic groups to use maternal and child healthcare services. However, much less is known about the factors that limit access of ethnic minorities to healthcare services, including the services of community health workers in Nepal, who are known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs). To address this issue, we conducted a qualitative study to explore perceived barriers to accessing maternal and child healthcare services among ethnic minority groups in two different geographical locations (the hill and Terai regions- flatland bordering south India) with varying degrees of access to local healthcare centres. Between April 2014 and September 2014, semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty FCHVs, 26 women service users and 11 paid local health workers. In addition, 15 FCHVs participated in four focus group discussions. A thematic analysis of the data identified five major themes underlying barriers to accessing available maternal and child healthcare services by ethnic minority groups such as Dalits, Madhesi, Muslim, Chepang and Tamang. These themes include: a) lack of knowledge among service users; b) lack of trust in volunteers; c) traditional beliefs and healthcare practices; d) low decision-making power of women; and e) perceived indignities experienced when using health centres. We conclude that community health programmes should focus on increasing awareness of healthcare services among ethnic minority groups, and the programmes should involve family members (husband and mothers-in-law) and traditional health practitioners. Both the FCHVs and local healthcare providers should be trained to communicate effectively in order to deliver respectful care among ethnic minorities if we want to achieve universal healthcare coverage for maternal and child health in low- and -middle income countries.

AB - Despite the efforts of community health workers to increase access to healthcare among ethnic minority groups in low- and -middle income countries, members of ethnic minorities are less likely than women from other ethnic groups to use maternal and child healthcare services. However, much less is known about the factors that limit access of ethnic minorities to healthcare services, including the services of community health workers in Nepal, who are known as Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHVs). To address this issue, we conducted a qualitative study to explore perceived barriers to accessing maternal and child healthcare services among ethnic minority groups in two different geographical locations (the hill and Terai regions- flatland bordering south India) with varying degrees of access to local healthcare centres. Between April 2014 and September 2014, semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty FCHVs, 26 women service users and 11 paid local health workers. In addition, 15 FCHVs participated in four focus group discussions. A thematic analysis of the data identified five major themes underlying barriers to accessing available maternal and child healthcare services by ethnic minority groups such as Dalits, Madhesi, Muslim, Chepang and Tamang. These themes include: a) lack of knowledge among service users; b) lack of trust in volunteers; c) traditional beliefs and healthcare practices; d) low decision-making power of women; and e) perceived indignities experienced when using health centres. We conclude that community health programmes should focus on increasing awareness of healthcare services among ethnic minority groups, and the programmes should involve family members (husband and mothers-in-law) and traditional health practitioners. Both the FCHVs and local healthcare providers should be trained to communicate effectively in order to deliver respectful care among ethnic minorities if we want to achieve universal healthcare coverage for maternal and child health in low- and -middle income countries.

KW - ethnic minority

KW - women

KW - nepal

KW - FCHV'S

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0217070

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0217070

M3 - Article

VL - 14

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 6

M1 - e0217070

ER -