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Afr J Med Med Sci. 2005 Mar;34(1):71-5.

The pattern of home treatment of malaria in under-fives in south eastern Nigeria.

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  • 1Department of Community Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria.


Malaria remains a major public health problem in most countries of the tropics with high morbidity and mortality. The toll of the disease is highest on the under-fives. The actions mothers take in the management of children with malaria is important in the fight to check the malaria scourge. A cross sectional survey was carried out in two states in southeast Nigeria--Abia and Anambra states. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select the subjects. One thousand two hundred and sixty mothers with children under five years of age were selected from 6 Local Government Areas in the two states. Trained interviewers were used to conduct the survey. The mean age of the mothers was 30.51 +/- 6.76. Over 95% (1016) of the respondents had at least a primary school education. The first line of actions mothers took when their under-five children had malaria showed that 54.5% (687) of them either procured medicines from the patent medicine dealers or used medicines that were in the home. The two most commonly used drugs for malaria treatment for under-fives were chloroquine 65.4% (824) and pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine 12.3% (155). Between 11.5% and 46% of the mothers used correct doses of chloroquine syrup while 5.3% and 11.5% of them used correct doses of chloroquine tablets. The proportion of mothers that used correct doses of pyrimethamine/sulfadoxine tablets was comparatively higher (36.4% and 75%) than the others. Large proportion of mothers (61%) who manage malaria at home, do so inappropriately. Proper health education needs to be set up to enlighten the populace on mode of home treatment for malaria in order to reduce the disease burden on families.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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