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J Diarrhoeal Dis Res. 1994 Mar;12(1):35-41.

Perceptions and treatment of diarrhoeal diseases in Cameroon.

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University of Yaounde, Department of Sociology, Cameroon.


Diarrhoeal diseases are a major cause of morbidity and mortality of children in Cameroon. The Cameroon government have employed many efforts to achieve diarrhoeal disease control. The ethnographic study of diarrhoeal disease attempts to understand the behaviour of mothers in the handling of diarrhoeal episodes of children less than 5 years of age. The three ethnic groups studied exhibited minor differences in perception of diarrhoeal disease and modes of help seeking. Their perceptions place greater emphasis on the social and world view than on the physical. The treatment of diarrhoeal diseases in the ethnic groups studied takes place on three levels: 1) mothers provide home treatment as soon as the episode occurs; 2) if it persists and mothers suspect social and spiritual causes, they will resort to the traditional healer; 3) when the illness persists and becomes severe, then mothers will turn to the biomedical sector. In this process oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is ignored by most mothers in the sample studied.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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