Health education and caregivers' management of Malaria among under fives in Ede North L.G.A., Osun State of Nigeria
AbstractThis study determined the effect of comprehensive health education programme on the home management of malaria in under fives by caregivers in Ede North Local Government Area, Osun State, Nigeria. The study design was a quasi-experimental Pre and Post study, which was carried out in three phases. Samples were selected by multistage random sampling technique in the North and South axis of the local government. Results revealed that the respondents had good knowledge of how malaria was transmitted- 75.8% in the experimental group and 73.3% in the control group. Their knowledge about the indirect causes of malaria was poor- 39.2% in experimental group and 41.7% in control group respectively. Knowledge scores on signs and symptoms of malaria were fair as 73.3% in experimental group and 83.3% in control group were able to mention between three and four signs of malaria fever in children. However, the respondents had poor knowledge of prevention of malaria. Although the level of awareness of insecticide treated net (ITN) was fair, 60.8% and 47.5% in experimental and control groups respectively, majority of the respondents in the two groups did not know when to re-treat the ITNs. As regards treatment practices, the respondents in both groups used both modern and traditional methods. The most frequently used modern drug was chloroquine, but they had poor knowledge of the dose and duration of its treatment regimen as only 15.3% in the experimental group and 23.7% in the control group got the correct dose prior to intervention. After the health education intervention, the experimental group became (a) more knowledgeable about the direct and indirect causes of malaria (b) more knowledgeable about signs and symptoms and prevention of malaria (c) more aware of ITN and its treatment (d) more knowledgeable about the dose and regimen of chloroquine drug and (e) had a better attitude towards the management of malaria. The study recommended the need for health care providers to utilize all possible interaction between caregivers and health facilities as an avenue for increasing the level of awareness to the treatment of malaria especially in the vunerable age group.
Keywords: malaria, health education, caregivers, under-fives
Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 49(4) 2006: 72-81