An Assessment of Female Prisoners??? Perception of the Accessibility of Quality Healthcare: A Survey in the Kumasi Central Prisons, Ghana

Author(s): Sarpong AA*, Otupiri E, Yeboah-Awudzi K, Osei-Yeboah J, Berchie GO and Ephraim RKD

Background: Accessibility of quality healthcare across the globe has generated a lot of attention among public health practitioners. Aim: This study explored the background characteristics of female prisoners and how it influences their assessment of the quality of accessible healthcare in the Kumasi Female Prison. Subjects and Methods: This descriptive cross‑sectional survey was conducted at the Female section of the Kumasi Central Prisons from June to December 2011. We used pretested questionnaires to obtain quantitative data from all 39 inmates of the female Prisons. An in‑depth interview was used to obtain qualitative data from the prison healthcare giver. Data were analyzed with Epi Info Version 3.5.1, (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), Excel, and Graph Pad Prism version 5.00 for Windows (Graph Pad software, San Diego California USA, www.graphpad.com). Results: Using a 12‑point scale inventory questionnaire, inmates with no formal education gave the highest mean health provision assessment score (6.0) whereas those with tertiary education gave the lowest (4.5). Females serving prison sentences gave the highest mean health assessment score whereas remand prisoners gave the lowest. Single females’ mean health assessment score was 5.7 whereas that of married inmates was 4.9. Unemployed inmates scored 5.8, informal 5.4 while civil servants scored 5.0. Conclusion: Access to quality healthcare was poor and demographic characteristics, marital status, educational background, and occupation influenced inmates’ perceptions of accessibility to quality healthcare. Inmates should be encouraged to be proactive in seeking healthcare irrespective of their background characteristics.


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