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Self-reported Well-being and Perceived Health Status of Women in Child-Producing Age Living in Rural Communities on the Atlantic Ocean Coast in Southwest Nigeria

Background: The health and well-being of women have not been studied extensively and had not been the major focus of policy fabricators and decision makers in Nigeria. It is imperative to explore the factors influencing health and the well-being of women in child-bearing age (WCBA). Methods: This study was cross-sectional and descriptive in nature. It used semi-structured questionnaires in 9 domains of age-group, marital status, parity, educational status, religion, occupation, income of respondent, income of husband and pregnancy state, to collect data on perceived health and wellbeing from 829 WCBA living on the Atlantic Ocean coastline in Lagos, Southwest Nigeria. Results: Majority of the surveyed women were aged 25- 34 years (406, 49.0%), ever married (660, 79.6%), have had 1-2 children (347, 41.9%), had attained secondary level of education (548, 66.0%) and were traders (472, 57.6%). In all, 252(30.4%) had no monthly income and only 15(1.2%) had the highest monthly income of over US$166.8. In comparison, 331(39.9%) and 67(7.6%) of respondents’ husbands had no income or had income of over US$166.8 respectively. Only 19(2.3%) perceived their well-being to be very poor while 70(8.4%) and 165(19.9%) respectively perceived it to be neither poor nor good or to be good. In all, 50(6.5%) respondents were very dissatisfied with their health compared to 254(30.6%) who were very satisfied with their health. Of those with no income, 31.6% and 48.0% respectively perceived their well-being to be very poor and their health status to be very unsatisfactory. In this group also 24.2% and 27.6% respectively perceived their well-being to be very good and their health status to be very satisfactory. Of those with income ≥US$166.8, 5.3% and 2.8% respectively perceived their well-being to be very good and health status to be very satisfactory. Significant relationships were observed between level of satisfaction with one’s health, age, woman’s income as well as pregnancy state. Discussion: The findings indicate that the experiences of well-being and health status of women in child-bearing age, living on the Atlantic Ocean coastline varied by age, marital status and educational status. A more robust study is needed to appropriately measure these variances among women, accommodate them in policies for better empowerment of women.


Dr. Bamgboye M. Afolabi, Prof. Emmanuel N. Ezedinachi, Dr. Iwara Arikpo, Prof. Bassey Igri Okon, Prof.Martin Meremikwu, Dr. Sidney Oparah and Damilola Fatimah Ganiyu

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