International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (May 2022)

Health Help-Seeking Behavior: The Scavengers’ Perspective

  • Beenish Malik,
  • Novel Lyndon,
  • Yew Wong Chin,
  • Basharat Hussain,
  • Sehrish Malik

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 6457
p. 6457


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Scavengers are prone to various health problems, hence seeking healthcare is inevitable. Despite the importance of the help-seeking behavior of scavengers, it has not been addressed explicitly in the existing literature. Addressing this gap, this study intends to explore the help-seeking behavior of scavengers and to identify the factors that influence healthcare utilization among them. This qualitative study conducted thirty-one in-depth interviews through a semi-structured interview guide and analyzed them using thematic analysis. Andersen’s Behavioral Model of Health Service Use was employed to explore the findings. The findings showed that the scavengers utilized multiple healthcare options depending on the severity and reoccurrence of the illness. The process of help-seeking and health services utilization was largely influenced by the cost of the health service, long distance to the health facility, traveling cost and waiting time. The study highlights the need for scavengers’ enrolment in micro health insurance schemes. The initiative would facilitate scavengers’ access to medical care. Health awareness campaigns and the provision of free mobile medical services, especially at the landfill sites, would also improve curative treatment among scavengers.