Knowledge and practice of community and facility health workers in case management of diarrhea in Langas Estate, Kenya
Background: Acute childhood diarrhoeal diseases cause about 1.87 million deaths among children below five years, but the majority of the deaths are preventable through the implementation of case management guidelines. Despite the existence of evidence-based guidelines, mortality from diarrhoea remains high, begging the question of whether healthcare workers adhere to the guidelines.
Aim: To describe the knowledge and practice of community and facility healthcare workers concerning case management of diarrhea.
Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional study carried out in Langas Estate and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, Eldoret, Kenya. The study population comprised of 11 Community health workers and 13 Facility healthcare workers.
Analysis: Data was summarized using frequency and presented in tables, bar graphs, and pie charts. Statistical difference was calculated using Pearson's Chi-square or Fisher's exact test.
Results: All the Community Health Workers knew that diarrhoea should be treated with ORS. None of them knew that all children with diarrhoea should receive zinc. None of the CHW knew all the steps in the preparation and administration of ORS. Nine (69.2%) of facility health workers had received training in case management of diarrhoea, but only 53.8% knew all the four major symptoms to assess. Treatment and referral of a child with diarrhoea was known by 69.2% and 23.1, respectively. Correct classification of diarrhoea, prescription of antibiotics, ORS and zinc, were found in 37.5%, 87.5%, 66.7%, and 50% cases, respectively.
Conclusion: Community and facility healthcare workers do not adhere to case management guidelines, which could be contributing to increased mortality.