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Background. Little is known about the health care that widows receive in sub-Saharan Africa. This study examined whether widows were at greater risk of facing challenges in accessing health care compared with other women in Uganda.
Methods. The study analyzed Demographic and Health Survey data from 8,674 women in Uganda collected in 2011.
Results. About 81% of widows and 64% of non-widowed women report at least one barrier to accessing health care. Multivariable logistic regressions showed that widows were more likely than non-widowed women to be afraid of seeking medical care alone and to identify financial costs as a barrier to accessing health care. Pregnant, older and landless widows were more vulnerable than other women.
Conclusions. Findings suggest that widows are at risk of not accessing health care due to financial and social barriers. Interventions are needed to eliminate these barriers and address the different sources of vulnerability.