Surgical patients travel longer distances than non-surgical patients to receive care at a rural hospital in mozambique

Michelle L. Faierman, Jamie Anderson, Americo Assane, Peter Bendix, Fernando Vaz, John A. Rose, Carlos Funzamo, Stephen W. Bickler, Emilia V. Noormahomed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Surgical care is increasingly recognised as an important component of global health delivery. However, there are still major gaps in knowledge related to access to surgical care in low-income countries. In this study, we compare distances travelled by surgical patients with patients seeking other medical services at a first-level hospital in rural Mozambique. Methods: Data were collected on all inpatients at Hospital Rural de Chókwè in rural Mozambique between 20 June 2012 and 3 August 2012. Euclidean distances travelled by surgical versus non-surgical patients using coordinates of each patient's city of residence were compared. Data were analysed using ArcGIS 10 and STATA. Results: In total, 500 patients were included. Almost one-half (47.6%) lived in the city where the hospital is based. By hospital ward, the majority (62.0%) of maternity patients came from within the hospital's city compared with only 35.2% of surgical patients. The average distance travelled was longest for surgical patients (42 km) compared with an average of 17 km for patients on all other wards. Conclusions: Patients seeking surgical care at this first-level hospital travel farther than patients seeking other services. While other patients may have access to at community clinics, surgical patients depend more heavily on the services available at first-level hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberihu059
Pages (from-to)60-66
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Access to surgical care
  • Global surgery
  • Mozambique
  • Sub-saharan africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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