Author(s): Olaogun AA, Ayandiran O, Olasode OA, Adebayo A, Omokhodion F, Olaogun AA, Ayandiran O, Olasode OA, Adebayo A, Omokhodion F
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the care given to febrile children under 5 years old at home prior to attending health facility. DESIGN: Cross sectional design. SETTING: Outpatient clinic of a government health facility. SUBJECTS: Two hundred mothers who brought their sick children to the outpatient department were interviewed. RESULTS: The ages of mothers ranged from 15 to 50 years (mean of 26.2 years). Most of them had formal education although below grade 12. Only 12.5\% of them were full-time housewives. Others were engaged in self-employed occupations. Fifty-one percent of the children were females. Their ages ranged between 6 months and 5 years with a mean of 2.6 years. Over 60\% of the children were suffering from symptoms of acute respiratory infections while 28\% had symptoms of malaria. There was no significant difference between mothers' diagnosis and researchers' diagnosis (chi(2) = 0.199, P < 0.05). The duration of children's illnesses spanned from 1 to 60 days (mean of 4.8 days). Only one mother reported at the clinic within 24 h of the onset of the child's illness. Eighty-one percent had taken action before coming to clinic. They had used combinations of drugs namely antipyretics, antimalarials and antibiotics. The average amount spent on drugs was US$0.57. These drugs were purchased at local medicine stores. CONCLUSION: The findings indicate home use of drugs that were not prescribed by health professionals. There is therefore a strong need to give appropriate education and counselling to mothers/care givers and medicine vendors on early detection and proper home management of febrile illnesses.
This article was published in Aust J Rural Health
and referenced in Malaria Control & Elimination