Author(s): Getahun A, Deribe K, Deribew A
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Prompt diagnosis and timely treatment of malaria within 24 hours after onset of first symptoms can reduce illness progression to severe stages and therefore, decrease mortality. The reason why mothers/caretakers delay in malaria diagnosis and treatment for under-five children is not well studied in Ethiopia. The objective of this study was to assess determinants of malaria treatment delay in under-five children in three districts of south-west Ethiopia. METHODS: A case control study was conducted from March 15 to April 20, 2010. Cases were under-five children who had clinical malaria and sought treatment after 24 hours of developing sign and symptom, and controls were under-five children who had clinical malaria and sought treatment within 24 hours of developing sign and symptom of malaria. Data were collected by trained enumerators using structured questionnaire. Data were entered in to Epi Info version 6.04 and analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. To identify determinants, multiple logistic regression was done. RESULTS: A total of 155 mothers of cases and 155 mothers of controls were interviewed. Mothers of children who were in a monogamous marriage (OR = 3.41, 95\% CI: 1.39, 8.34), who complained about the side effects of anti-malarial drugs (OR = 4.96, 95\% CI: 1.21, 20.36), who had no history of child death (OR = 3.50, 95\% CI: 1.82, 6.42) and who complained about the higher cost of transportation to reach the health institutions (OR = 2.01, 95\% CI: 1.17, 3.45) were more likely to be late for the treatment of malaria in under-five children. CONCLUSION: Effective malaria control programmes should address reducing delayed presentation of children for treatment. Efforts to reduce delay should address transport cost, decentralization of services and increasing awareness of the community on early diagnosis and treatment.
This article was published in Malar J
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology