Knowledge of Childhood Diarrhoea and Home-Based Care Practices in a Rural Community in Northern Nigeria
Keywords:Caregiver, Under-fives, diarrhoea, Home –based, knowledge, Northern Nigeria
Background: Diarrhoeal is a major public health problem among under five children (U5) in developing countries. This survey assesses knowledge of childhood diarrhoea and home-based care practices among caregivers for U5 children in a rural community in North Western Nigeria
Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study among of 244 mother/caregivers of under-five children in a rural Gangara community between July- August 2022 using a systematic random sampling technique and a structured, interviewer administered questionnaire. The outcome variables for bivariate (chi square) analysis were the knowledge grade for diarrhoea, while the explanatory variables was the socio-demographic characteristics of the caregivers. Data were analysed with statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 26. The level of statistical significance was set at p<0.05.
Results: The knowledge score for mode of transmission of diarrhoea and danger signs for dehydration were 70.5%, and 47.5% respectively. One third of the caregivers could not identify sunken eyeball 79 (32.4%) and tearlessness 110 (45.1%) as signs of dehydration. The common diarrhea home-based care practices were the use of ORS (98.8%), herbal concoction, (48.8%) and salt sugar solution (17.6%). Some caregivers would treat under-five diarrhoea at home with lomotil 115 (47.1%) ciprofloxacin 44 (18%) and metronidazole (34.8%). Only 54 (22%) caregivers would go to the hospital immediately they noticed symptoms of diarrhoea.
Conclusion: The knowledge of diarrhoea was poor and most home-based care practices were unconventional. Hence, the burden of diarrhoea disease was high. The LGA health authorities should facilitate continuous health education programs on diarrhoea diseases in this community
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