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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Health seeking behaviours among electronic waste workers in Ghana

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Emmanuel Asampong, Kwaku Dwuma-Badu, Judith Stephens, Roland Srigboh, Richard Neitzel, Niladri Basu, Julius N. Fobil
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interest including financial to report.

Authors’ contributions

KDB: Conceived study, Interpretation of data and drafting of script. EA: Interpretation of data and drafting of script. JS: Drafting of script. RS: Drafting of script. RN: Drafting of script. NB: Drafting of script. JNF: Drafting of script. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Electronic waste workers are prone to various illnesses and injuries from numerous hazards thus the need for them to seek health care. The aim of this study was to describe health-seeking behavior, and social and other factors affecting this behavior, among electronic waste workers at Agbogbloshie, Accra, Ghana.


In-depth interviews were conducted and analyzed qualitatively from a grounded theory perspective.


Workers experienced various kinds of ailments. These included physical injuries, chest and respiratory tract associated symptoms, malaria, headaches, body pains and stomach discomfort. They reported seeking health care from multiple sources, and the main determinants of health seeking behaviour were severity of illness, perceived benefit of treatment, accessibility of service, quality of service, ease of communication with service provider and cost of health care.


Multiple sources of health care were used by the e-waste workers. As cost was a major barrier to accessing formal health care, most of the workers did not subscribe to health insurance. Since enrollment in health insurance is low amongst the workers, education campaigns on the need to register with the National Health Insurance Scheme would facilitate access to formal health care and could result in improved health outcomes among e-waste workers.
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