Assessing health workers knowledge on the determinants of health: a study in Enugu Nigeria.

Nigerian journal of medicine : journal of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria

PubMedID: 23301447

Uguru NP, Akaji EA, Ndiokwelu E, Uguru CC. Assessing health workers knowledge on the determinants of health: a study in Enugu Nigeria. Niger J Med. 2013;21(1):48-52.
BACKGROUND
Different social economic and personal factors have been touted as determining a person's health. This encompasses a person's living environment, economic status, genetic makeup, physical attributes and not just access to health services. It is important that health workers recognize that a person's socio-economic environment can have an adverse effect on the health status ofthe individual so as to capture this aspect in their choice of intervention.

METHODS
The study was carried out in two tertiary institutions in Enugu state selected purposively because they housed a dental clinic. It was a descriptive cross sectional study consisting of 87 participants which represented all the dental taff available during the study period. The participants were interviewed with a structured questionnaire used to elicit the knowledge of health workers on health determinants.

RESULTS
When individual factors were considered, a greater percentage of health workers, believed that safe drinking water (98.9%), where a person lives (96.6%) and a balanced diet, affect health more than availability of health services (59.8%) or the ability of the health care system to meet the needs of the people (55.2%). However when ranking the magnitude of the contribution of the various determinants of health the majority (37.9%) considered a good health care system the most important contributory factor to determining health of a community while social environment (14.9%) was the least.

CONCLUSION
The ranking of good healthcare system over social environment points to the emphasis being laid on curative instead of preventive management of diseases, which have been entrenched in our health workers. Considerations should therefore be made for public health institutions to dwell more on health promotion and education activites on the importance of the social determinatants on health.