Knowledge and Use of Oral Rehydration Therapy among Mothers of under-five children in a Military Barrack in Ibadan, Nigeria
This study was designed to assess the knowledge of diarrhoea and ORT and identify diarrhoea management practices involving use of SSS among mothers of under-five children in a Military Cantonment, Akinyele Local Government Area, Oyo State, Nigeria. A two-stage random sampling technique was used to select 403 mothers of under-five children in the Military Cantonment. A validated semi-structured questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire included 20-point diarrhoea knowledge and 16-point ORT/SSS knowledge scales. Diarrhoea knowledge scores of 0-8, >8-13 and >13-18 were rated as poor, fair and good while the ORT/SSS knowledge scores of 0-5, >5-10 and >10-16 were considered poor, fair and good, respectively. The age of respondents was 29.8±5.5 years. Their main occupations are petty-trading (43.0%), full-time “housewives” (35.7%) and artisanship (12.9%). Most respondents (98.0%) were aware of ORT, 95.0% correctly stated the composition of SSS and 43.9% were able to state the correct proportions of sugar, salt, and water in SSS. Respondents’ sources of information about ORT included health personnel (78.7%), relatives (11.4%) and television (6.0%). The listed causes of diarrhoea included teething (51.7%) and dirty environment (29.0%). Diarrhoea was perceived by 46.0% to be a serious health condition. Respondents with good, fair and poor knowledge of diarrhoea were 26.8%, 60.8% and 12.4% respectively. Majority (79.9%) of respondents reported that their child (ren) had diarrhoea within the three months preceding the study and the home treatment given included use of ORT (49.5%); others gave orthodox (22.6%) and native medicine (3.7%). Seventy per cent of respondents stated that they could prepare SSS, but 72.7% preferred taking children with diarrhoea to the hospital instead of using SSS. Forty-nine per cent of the respondents were of the view that cleanliness of the environment was one of the preventive measures against childhood diarrhoea. No significant association was found between mothers’ knowledge of diarrhoea and the use of oral rehydration therapy (p=0.243). However, mothers’ parity significantly influenced management of diarrhoea positively (p=0.003). Knowledge about diarrhoea diseases and oral rehydration therapy was high among respondents, but their use of oral rehydration was low. Training, public enlightenment and social marketing strategies are needed to promote the use of oral rehydration therapy among mothers of under-five children in military cantonment.
Key words: Diarrhoeal diseases knowledge, under-five caregivers, Oral rehydration therapy, Military Cantonment.