Author(s): EneObong HN, Iroegbu CU, Uwaegbute AC
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Abstract The aim of the study was to determine the perceptions of mothers regarding the causes and management of diarrhoea of their children aged 0-24 months. In Enugu State, Nigeria, 80 market women whose children had diarrhoea during last 6 months were interviewed fortnightly. When possible, the children were observed to determine the types of diarrhoea and treatments given. Fifty-three of the women brought their children to market, and 27 left their children at home. Seventy-one percent of the mothers perceived that diarrhoea was caused by teething. The most common types of diarrhoea occurring in these children were watery diarrhoea (59\%) and the so-called teething diarrhoea (29\%). Dysentery (6\%) and jedi jedi or frothy and mucoid stools (4\%) occurred less frequently. In 68\% of the cases, drugs were used alone or in conjunction with salt-sugar solution (SSS) or other forms of treatment. These drugs were prescribed by medical personnel (40\%), patent medicine dealers (23\%), or mothers themselves (30\%). About 26\% and 39\% of the mothers treated, respectively, watery and teething diarrhoeas with drugs only, while 23\% used SSS alone. The drugs used were mainly antimicrobials (34\%) and a combination of antimicrobial, antimalarial, antacid, analgesic, and some local herbal preparations (21\%). The results of the study showed the evidence of unnecessary use of drugs and ignorance about their potential adverse effects. These underscore the need for appropriate primary care education among the market women in Nigeria.
This article was published in J Health Popul Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals