This study aims to investigate the access and utilization of health care services among Lumad young mothers in Rogongon Iligan City, Northern Mindanao, Philippines. The Lumad of Iligan City is a group of indigenous peoples collectively called the “Higaonon”. Respondents were chosen on purpose based on the following criteria: (1) they are pure Lumad young mothers ages 15-25. (2) resident of Rogongon for at least 5 years; and (2) willingness to participate in the study. Self-made open-ended questions focused on access and utilization of health care services were raised during the interview. A total of fifteen cases were investigated in a one-on-one interview. Using qualitative thematic analysis, Three important themes emerged from the study which includes: (1) barriers to access, (2) awareness and education, and (3) cultural considerations. Results revealed that health care access and utilization rates were found to be significantly low among indigenous populations. Considering the distance of the Higaonon villages, young mothers in very remote areas find it difficult to access the appropriate mainstream primary health care services and medical assistance from the government. Provision of medicine from the barangay clinic was found to be very minimal. Emergency cases and major health care problems that require hospitalization cannot be responded immediately. This study concludes an inept health care delivery system for Indigenous people. Thus, it is recommended for the government to come up with an effective framework to intensify healthcare services and provide a culturally sensitive type of education for the Lumad.
Nona Krislin Jopillo, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, Philippines
Rizalina Gomez, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, Philippines