East African Journal of Public Health

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Knowledge on management of fever among mothers of undertens in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

KD Mwambete, R Andrew


Objectives: To explore on mothers‘ knowledge on fever and its management as well as assess treatment received by under 10 year-old children (undertens) having fever prior to being presented in outpatient departments at two Municipal hospitals.
Methods: Data were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire interviews among mothers of undertens, who had problems of fever and presented at the two Municipal hospitals viz. Mwananyamala and Temeke Municipal hospitals, in Dar es Salaam.
Results: A total of 301 respondents were interviewed. Of those, 151 had male and 150 and female undertens, whose ages ranged from 1 month to 10 years-old with median of 2 years. Minority (32%) of the interviewees were unaware of possible causes of fever, while 52% attributed it to malaria. About 25% of the respondents regard fever as a minor health problem, thus they did not seek medical attention unless other severe symptoms were manifested. Majority (88.4%) of the respondents self-medicated, and out of those 24% used antimalarials and antipyretics, while 7.6% used both antipyretics and antibiotics for alleviation of fever. On arrival in OPDs, only 62.4% of the respondents were prescribed with antimalarial agents. Approximately 18% of the interviewees admitted to have had changed medications due to unresponsiveness to the previously prescribed drugs. Pharmacies were the main sources of the self-medicated drugs (n= 272; 90.4%).
Conclusion: Fever is a public health concern among undertens, which contributed to high rate of self-medication and irrational use of medicines. However, respondents demonstrated adequate knowledge on fever and on its management though fever was associated with underlying causes.
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