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Table 1 Matrix of factors reported by papers to attract care seekers to different provider types: Cost of services

From: Improving access to health care for malaria in Africa: a review of literature on what attracts patients

Provider type Community health workers
(n = 4)
Drug shop/pharmacy
(n = 19)
Traditional healer
(n = 4)
Private health centre/facility
(n = 3)
Public health centre/facility
(n = 10)
(n = 3)
Provider type not specified
(n = 13)
Attracting factor        
Cost of services at the provider (including consultation, treatment, supplies)
(n = 44)
Ethiopia[10], Uganda[11](traditional birth attendants)
Kenya[14], Tanzania[15], Uganda [1618] Nigeria [19], [20] Ghana [21], Ethiopia [22], Tanzania[23], Malawi[24], Nigeria [25, 26]
'Cheap' Burkina Faso[33] 'Cheap' Uganda [16] Free services
Malawi [36]South Africa [37] Kenya [38], Tanzania [31]
Ethiopia [39]
'Free services' Kenya[35] 'Free or cheap drugs' Uganda [45, 46] Tanzania [47]
  'No charge' Uganda [12, 13] 'Affordable' drug vendors
Nigeria[27, 28]Ghana[29]
'For those who find it difficult to pay'
Tanzania [23], Uganda[32]
'Reduced cost' Kenya[35] 'Free if unable to pay' Tanzania[34] 'Low cost' Uganda[41] 'Inexpensive services'
Nigeria [48] Ghana [21], Nigeria[20], Kenya[14], [38, 49, 50], Mozambique[51]Ethiopia [52]
   'Charge less than others' Kenya [30] 'Flexible in payment' Tanzania[34] 'Can get treatment on credit' Uganda [16], Nigeria [28] 'Free if Under 5yr olds' Gambia[40] 'Economical for finding out the cause of an illness' Tanzania[44] Affordable
   'Can get treatment on credit' Uganda [16], Tanzania [31], Nigeria [27, 19, 26]   'Pay according to the treatment you get' Kenya[35] 'Low cost' Mozambique [37]Uganda[41], Sudan[42]   'Flexibility in mode of payment'
   'Option of bargaining' Nigeria[20]   'Prices are negotiable' Kenya[35] 'Can get treatment on credit' Tanzania [31]   
   'Give medicine according to the money you can afford' Uganda[32]    'Covered by insurance' Ghana [43]   
  1. Note: Papers providing a rich description of attracting factors are marked in bold; findings from methods involving open-ended questions are underlined.