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West Afr J Med. 2001 Apr-Jun;20(2):152-7.

Knowledge and home management of malaria fever by mothers and care givers of under five children.

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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.


This study documents the knowledge and home management practices of 376 mothers and care givers of under five children on malaria fever. Results revealed that both the knowledge and case management practices were poor as only 179 (46.8%) knew how malaria was transmitted. Of those who knew malaria could be prevented, clearing of bushes and gutters was the commonly stated method (78 or 21.8%), followed by the use of traditional herbs. 'Agbo' by 75(20.9%) mothers. The elders and friends were stated to be the major source of knowledge about malaria by 141(37.5%) mothers. Knowledge scores was significantly higher in older mothers, among the educated, and skilled mothers (P<0.05). As regards practices, self-medication with modern drugs was common, these drugs had been given in the home by 265(70.5%) mothers while "Agbo", had been used by 95(25.5%) mothers before presenting at the clinic. Paracetamol was the modern drug often used (217 or 81.8%). Followed by chloroquine (57 or 21.5%). However, drug treatment practice were often incorrect. Chloroquine was prescribed correctly by 15(26.3%) mothers, while 109(50.2%) gave the correct dose of paracetamol. Only 16(4.3%) of the children received anti-malarial on the day the illness began. There is the need for education programmes on malaria for mothers, especially for young, illiterate and unskilled mothers, including the family elders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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