Author(s): Oreagba A, Onajole AT, Olayemi SO, Mabadeje AFB
Purpose: To compare the awareness and treatment knowledge of malaria amongst caregivers of young children in urban and rural areas of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area in Ogun State.
Method: Structured questionnaires were administered to caregivers of children under the age of five years in 1472 households using a multistage random sampling technique.
Results: Many respondents (65%) attributed the cause of malaria to mosquito bite. The knowledge of malaria treatment (particularly the knowledge of pediatric doses) was generally poor. Caregivers in urban areas had better understanding of the dosage regimen for both adult and pediatric doses (p<0.05) than those in rural areas (p <0.05). However, caregivers in urban areas also sought more frequently for treatment of their children that are febrile than those living in rural areas. The latter visited the patent medicine vendors more frequently than the former (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The caregivers of children in the communities studied have poor knowledge of malaria. Those in urban areas have better health-seeking behaviour than those in rural areas. There is therefore need for urgent interventions to promote appropriate treatments of malaria in rural areas.