Factors Influencing Seeking and Reaching Care in Patients With Peritonitis in Rwanda

Martin Munyaneza, Sudha Jayaraman, Faustin Ntirenganya, Jennifer Rickard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Peritonitis is an emergency which frequently requires surgical intervention. The aim of this study was to describe factors influencing seeking and reaching care for patients with peritonitis presenting to a tertiary referral hospital in Rwanda.

METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study of patients with peritonitis admitted to University Teaching Hospital of Kigali. Data were collected on demographics, prehospital course, and in-hospital management. Delays were classified according to the Three Delays Model as delays in seeking or reaching care. Chi square test and logistic regression were used to determine associations between delayed presentation and various factors.

RESULTS: Over a 9-month period, 54 patients with peritonitis were admitted. Twenty (37%) patients attended only primary school and 15 (28%) never went to school. A large number (n = 26, 48%) of patients were unemployed and most (n = 45, 83%) used a community-based health insurance. For most patients (n = 44, 81%), the monthly income was less than 10,000 Rwandan francs (RWF) (11.90 U.S. Dollars [USD]). Most (n = 51, 94%) patients presented to the referral hospital with more than 24 h of symptoms. More than half (n = 31, 60%) of patients had more than 4 d of symptoms on presentation. Most (n = 37, 69%) patients consulted a traditional healer before presentation at the health care system. Consultation with a traditional healer was associated with delayed presentation at the referral hospital (P < 0.001). Most (n = 29, 53%) patients traveled more than 2 h to reach a health facility and this was associated with delayed presentation (P = 0.019). The cost of transportation ranged between 5000 and 1000 RWF (5.95-11.90 USD) for most patients and was not associated with delayed presentation (P = 0.449).

CONCLUSIONS: In this study, most patients with peritonitis present in a delayed fashion to the referral hospital. Factors associated with seeking and reaching care included sociodemographic characteristics, health-seeking behaviors, cost of care, and travel time. These findings highlight factors associated with delays in seeking and reaching care for patients with peritonitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-242
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Inc.


  • Delays
  • Peritonitis
  • Rwanda
  • Tertiary Care Centers/economics
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care/psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult
  • Medicine, African Traditional/psychology
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative/economics
  • Time-to-Treatment/statistics & numerical data
  • Adolescent
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures/statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitals, University/economics
  • Peritonitis/economics
  • Aged

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Journal Article


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