Childhood renal diseases in Benin-City: assessment of knowledge and practices amongst general medical practitioners

  • IO Michael University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin-City, Nigeria
  • AN Ofili


Childhood renal diseases (CRD) are commonly associated with few no specific symptoms and for the small fraction of such patients seen in orthodox health facilities, representing point of initial contact, it is expedient that they are adequately managed. The study therefore evaluates the management of childhood renal diseases by General Medical Practitioners (GMPs). This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among GMPs between September 2002 – March 2003. Researcher- administered questionnaire was used in extracting relevant information bothering on biodata, perception, attitude and practice concerning common renal diseases in children. The 110 respondents comprised 79 (71.8%) males and 31 (28.2%) females. Their mean age was 32.4 + 5.8 years (range 24 – 50 years). About 77% of respondents considered CRD as common and listed urinary tract infection, nephrotic syndrome, acute glomerulonephritis, Wilm's tumour, and chronic renal failure as the five more common renal morbidities. Predispositions to CRD as identified by the respondents include congenital malformation (86.4%), antecedent infections (85.5%) use of mercurial soap (84.5%), and other non-renal diseases (39%). Determinants of antibiotics use by the GMPs were availability and less importantly affordability and sensitivity. Right choice of relevant antibiotics in childhood urinary tract infection was significantly more in respondents who have practiced for 3 years or less (p = 0.001). About 27% of respondents claimed they would give steroid to a child with oedema and hypertension. Referral of patients was un-popular amongst respondents (55.5%) and for those who would consider it, it would be warranted by poor response to initial treatment. This response was independent of age and years of experience. Most of the respondents were also unaware of where to source specialized services. In conclusion, the average GMP has sufficient knowledge to offer preliminary treatment to children with some common renal illness but a gulf still exists between the knowledge base and practice. A continuing medical education scheme is recommended to bridge this gap.

Keywords: knowledge, practice, renal diseases, children, medical practitioner, Benin City

The Tropical Journal of Health Sciences Vol. 12(1) 2005: 31-35

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eISSN: 1117-4153