Caretakers’ Experiences with Sick Children in Luapula Province: Implications for Child Survival Interventions in Zambia

  • A Chompolola
  • M Macwan’gi


Objective: To gain a deep understanding of caretakers’ perspectives about factors contributing to high under-five mortality in Luapula province of Zambia. Methods: This report is a product of data that was collected using verbal autopsy for a study on Factors Associated with high Under Five Mortality in the Luapula province of Zambia. Verbal autopsies were used to collect information from three hundred and sixty (360) caretakers about illnesses that led to the death of their under-five children. The autopsies were analyzed using the Optimal Care-Seeking Framework (OCSF) to identify the factors associated with the high under-five mortality rate in Luapula province. Results: The study identified that the under-five mortality rate in Luapula province is perpetuated by behavioral and health system factors that compromise the management of illnesses. Four obstacles to effective management of illness were identified and these include (i) poor recognition of signs of illness; (ii) delay in reaching a healthcare facility, (iii) delay in receiving definitive treatment, and (iv) poor compliance with recommended treatment and/or referrals. Conclusion: Reduction of under-five mortality requires optimal management of illnesses through the removal of the four obstacles. This entails coming up with strategies not only to improve the healthcare seeking behaviour of people but also streamline the healthcare system to enhance access to definitive healthcare.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0047-651X
print ISSN: 0047-651X