Health seeking behavior by families of children suspected to have malaria in Kabale, Uganda
AbstractBackground: Malaria is common among communities of Kabale district, and many young children die of the illness. Despite a good distribution of health facilities, able to handle malaria patients, families and individuals tend to depend on self-treatment, or private clinics where drugs used may be of doubtful quality.
Objective: To establish the health seeking behaviour by families with children suspected to have malaria.
Methodology: A community-based, cross-sectional survey among 209 rural peasant families living in 12 villages, chosen from the 5 most malaria-affected sub-counties was done. Using a questionnaire, respondents' reactions to the disease and what decisions they took were recorded. Reasons for choices such as drugs used, location of treatment and malaria control methods were recorded.
Results: Ninety seven percent lived within easy reach of a public health facility. Over 2/3 knew how malaria was transmitted and how it presented. They believed it was best treated at public heath facilities using western type of medicine. Fifty percent of the children, who attended public health units, were treated within 24 of illness. Thirty eight percent of the caretakers knew how to correctly use chloroquine. The caretakers relied on fever, vomiting and refusal to feed as the main symptoms for their diagnosis of malaria. Only 31% of the families sought treatment from government health facilities.
Fifty three percent of the families sought treatment from drug shops/vendors. Unfortunately only 38% of the families knew the correct regimen of chloroquine, 4.3% for sulpha-doxine pyrimethamine and 0.5% for quinine. One quarter could afford malaria treatment, and one out of five missed treatment because of poverty. Concerning prevention, 90% stated at least one method but only 21.2% used them. Conclusions: Despite reasonable knowledge for diagnosis of malaria, awareness of correct treatment is limited. Paradoxically government health units appear to play a minor role in the treatment of malaria.
Key words: Malaria, health seeking, behaviour, Uganda
African Health Sciences 2002; 2(3): 94-98
While African Health Sciences has been freely accessible online there have been questions on whether it is Open Access or not. We wish to clearly state that indeed African Health Sciences is Open Access. There are key issues regarding Open Access needing clarification for avoidance of doubt:
- 1. Henceforth, papers in African Health Sciences will be published under the CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution License) 4.0 International. See details on https://creativecomons.org/)
- 2. The copyright owners or the authors grant the 3rd party (perpetually and in advance) the right to disseminate, reproduce, or use the research papers in part or in full, format/medium as long as:
- No substantive errors are introduced in the process
- Attribution of authorship and correct citation details are given
- The referencing details are not changed.
Should the papers be reproduced in part, this must be clearly stated.
- 3. The papers will be freely and universally accessible online in an easily readable format such as XML in at least one widely recognized open access repository such as PUBMED CENTRAL.
B. ABRIDGED LICENCE AGREEMENT BETWEEN AUTHORS AND African Health Sciences
I submitted my manuscript to African Health Sciences and would like to affirm that:
1.0 I am authorized by my co-authors to enter into these arrangements.
2.0 I guarantee, on behalf of self and co-authors:
- That the paper is original, and has not been published in any other peer-reviewed journal; nor is it under consideration by other journal (s). It does not infringe existing copyright or any other person’s rights
- That we are/I am the sole author(s) of the paper and with authority to enter into this agreement. My granting rights to African Health Sciences is not in breach of any other obligation
- That the paper contains nothing unlawful, or libelous. Nor anything that would constitute a breach of contract, confidence or commitment given to secrecy, if published
- That I/we have taken care to ensure the integrity of the article.