Health care-seeking behaviour for child illnesses among rural mothers in South Africa: a pilot study
AbstractThe aim of this study was to examine the health care-seeking behaviour of mothers when their children under five years suffer from common childhood illnesses such as diarrhoea, fever, cough and worms. The study was conducted in a rural community in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The sample consisted of 100 rural mothers attending a clinic. The results indicated that the complaint most commonly reported was fever (95%), followed by diarrhoea (91%); worms were reported by only 25% of the mothers. The most common health care-seeking behaviour was a visit to the clinic: 79% of the mothers took their children to the clinic for coughing, 68% for fever, 50% for diarrhoea and 11% for worms. The second most common form of health care-seeking behaviour was self-care: for diarrhoea (20%) and for fever (13%); a private doctor was consulted for coughing (11%) and drug vendors were used for the treatment of worms (8%). Most mothers (76%) used home remedies for the treatment of diarrhoea and modern drugs for the treatment of fever (91%), for coughing (98%), and for worms (22%). Among mothers in the age group 31 to 49 years, 52.9% had experienced the death of a child, followed by 13.3% in the age group 15 to 19 years, and 9.8% in the age group 20 to 30 years. Die doel van die navorsing was om moeders met siek kinders se gesondheidsgedrag na te vors. Die fokus was op die moeders se pogings om mediese hulp vir hul kinders te bekom. Die kinders in die steekproef was onder die ouderdom van vyf jaar en van 'n plattelandse gemeenskap in die Limpopo Provinsie van Suid-Afrika. Die kinders het simptome van algemene kindersiektes soos diarree, koors, hoes en wurms getoon. Die steekproef het bestaan uit 100 moeders wat van die kliniekdienste gebruik maak. Die resultate dui aan dat die simptome wat meestal gerapporteer word diarree (91%), koors (95%) en wurms (25 %) is. Die oorgrote meerderheid van die moeders het hul kinders na die klinieke geneem vir koors (68%), hoes (79%), wurms (11%) en diarree (50%). Die tweede keuse vir gesondheidsorg was selfversorging: vir diarree (20%), en koors (13%). 'n Privaatpraktisyn is geraadpleeg vir hoes (11%), en vir wurms (8%) is medikasie by die apteek verkry. Die meeste moeders (76%) het tuismedisyne gebruik vir die behandeling van diarree en die meeste het moderne medisyne gebruik vir die behandeling van koors (91%), hoes (98%) en wurms (22%). Van die moeders in die ouderdomsgroep van 31-49 jaar het 52.9 % kinders aan die dood afgestaan gevolg deur die groep van 15 -19 jaar (13.3 %) en die groep van 20-30 jaar (9.8 %).
Key words: Health care-seeking behaviour, Common childhood illness, Dead child, Rural community, South Africa
Health SA Gesondheid: 2003 8(2): 3-13)
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