Perceptions of caretakers with different socioeconomic status about the harmful outcomes of fever in under-five children in Dodoma region, central Tanzania: A cross-sectional study
Background: Socioeconomic status can affect health in childhood through many different pathways. Evidence on how households differ with regard to socioeconomic status and the degree to which this difference is associated with investment in child health is essential to the design of appropriate intervention strategies.
Aim: This study examines the impact of caretakers’ socio-economic characteristics on perceptions about the harmful outcomes of fever among under-five children.
Material and methods: The study used a three-stage cluster sample of households with under-five children in Dodoma region, central Tanzania. Multilevel modelling approach was used to model the relationship between the outcome measure and caretakers’ socioeconomic characteristics while controlling for other variables.
Results: A total of 329 under-five children with fever were studied of which 74.8% were perceived by their caretakers to have some chances for harmful effects of fever to occur when they experienced fever. Secondary school education or above of caretakers was significantly associated with decreased beliefs about the occurrence of harmful effects of fever.
Conclusion: Many caretakers are concerned about the occurrence of harmful effects of fever for their under-five children. Study findings suggest that promoting enrolment in secondary education or above and participation in the labour market particularly in non-farm activities of women would be valuable to the health of under-five children in central Tanzania.
Keywords: Beliefs, Childhood fever, Health effects, Perception, Socioeconomic status