Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Jul;89(1 Suppl):21-8. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.12-0753. Epub 2013 Apr 29.

Seeking care for pediatric diarrheal illness from traditional healers in Bamako, Mali.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Center for Vaccine Development, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21201, USA.


Diarrhea is a leading cause of child mortality worldwide. Early recognition of symptoms and referral to medical treatment are essential. In 2007, we conducted a Healthcare Utilization and Attitudes Survey (HUAS) of 1,000 children randomly selected from a population census to define care-seeking patterns for diarrheal disease in Bamako, Mali, in preparation for the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS). We found that 57% of caretakers sought care for their child's diarrheal illness from traditional healers, and 27% of caretakers sought care from the government health center (GHC). Weighted logistic regression showed that seeking care from a traditional healer was associated with more severe reported diarrheal disease, like decreased urination (odds ratio [OR] = 3.35, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.19-9.41) and mucus or pus in stool (OR = 4.42, 95% CI = 1.35-14.51), along with other indicators of perceived susceptibility. A locally designed traditional healer referral system was, therefore, created that emphasized more severe disease. This system may serve as a model for health systems in West Africa.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Ingenta plc Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center