Thomas Mutinda Muthama, Dr. Stephen Kyalo Mutiso
Abstract: To ensure health service delivery system is more effective and accessible to many people as possible, focus has been redirected to increased preventive health care. This study aimed at establishing the effects of socioeconomic status, and increased demand for preventive health services on demand of health and demand for health care. Using the household health and utilization survey data for 2003, an ordered probit and poisson regression models were estimated to determine the factors which influence health demand and demand for health care respectively. The study found that, the wealthy are healthier though they demand less health care; increase in literacy rate had a significant favourable effect on health status; married male and female have better health than their single counterparts; socioeconomic status like being single or widowed, monthly income, age and gender had effect on individuals health, while employment status did not. The demand for health care was not influenced by the area of residence, individuals employment status, health education and consumption of tobacco. But, an individual who came from a remote place had worse health compared to one in an urban area while, someone who consumed tobacco either through smoking, chewing or sniffing had worse health than one who did not use. The study recommends that people be encouraged to seek preventive health care services in health facilities through provision of preventive subsidies especially to low-income groups and the widowed. Health education be emphasised, increased and promoted. This ought to change the lifestyle of people as it seemed to impact positively on persons who consumed tobacco. The government ought to continue with its program of free primary education, since this would increase the demand for health care especially for those with no education and in turn improve health status of Kenyans.
Keywords: Socioeconomic Status, Preventive Health Services, Health Education, Demand for Health