Housing Conditions and Health in Rural Nigeria: A Study of Akwa Ibom State

Usen Udoh, Joseph Uyanga


The study examined the relationship between housing conditions and ill health among households in Nigeria’s neglected rural areas with specific focus on rural Akwa Ibom State. The study design was based on household cross- sectional survey. Housing and Health Questionnaire (HHQ) was used to obtain the required information on 540 randomly sampled households in 90 rural communities. Housing Conditions were measured using six broad variables: Safety/Security, indoor temperature controls/ventilation, hygiene/sanitation, building condition, environmental quality and crowding. While ill health was measured by the reporting of respiratory symptoms namely Asthma, Pneumonia, Cough and Bronchitis. A stepwise multiple regression model was used to analyze the relationship between ill-health and housing conditions, controlling for other covariates. Results showed that majority of households lived in “inadequate housing” lacking facilities necessary to promote occupants health and wellbeing. About 92.3% of sampled households reported the occurrence of at least one respiratory symptom. The indoor temperature controls/ventilation and building condition were found to contribute significantly to Asthma occurrence (R2 =.669); building condition and environmental quality contributed 84.8% to the total variance in Pneumonia incidence (R2 =.848). Crowding was identified as the major determinant of cough incidence (R2 =.648) while building condition and crowding was found to jointly contribute 75.6% to the total variance in the occurrence of Bronchitis (R2 = .756). These findings highlight the need for immediate action on housing intervention as they suggest that health among the rural people could be strengthened with improved housing conditions.

Keywords: Housing Conditions; Respiratory symptoms; Ill Health; Rural Areas; Akwa Ibom State.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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