Health seeking behaviour of caregivers of children under five years old with diarrhoea in Maun
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
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Background Diarrhoea contributes significantly to the global burden of disease and associated mortality in children under the age of five. Despite the availability of cost effective treatment and preventive measures, diarrhoea is still one of the leading causes of child mortality in Botswana and there are concerns that inappropriate health seeking behaviour of caregivers results in treatment delays and in some cases no treatment at all. Dehydration and resultant death from diarrhoea is preventable and appropriate health seeking behaviour by caregivers is crucial in this regard. Aim To determine factors associated with health seeking behaviours among caregivers of children under five years old with diarrhoea in Maun. Methods This was a cross sectional study. Data on socio-demographic and diarrhoea related variables was collected from 238 caregivers who had children less than five years old that had experienced diarrhoea in the past using a researcher administered questionnaire. Data collection was done from March to April 2018 in six clinics that offer child welfare services in Maun, Botswana. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the association between health seeking behaviour and factors related to diarrhoea among children under five years as well as caregivers’ demographic characteristics. Results Only 40.3% of caregivers were found to have appropriate health seeking behaviour. Caregivers in the age range of 26 – 35 years (OR=0.50, 95%CI: 0.003 – 0.986) compared to the reference age group of 15 – 25 years and those with a household income of >1200 – 4000 Pula (OR=0.201, 95%CI 0.043 – 0.943) and >8000 – 12 000 Pula (OR=0.255, 95%CI: 0.066 – 0.989) compared to reference group earning 0 – 1200Pula were found to have lower odds of appropriate health seeking behaviour. We did not find any diarrhoea related variables that was associated with appropriate or inappropriate health seeking behaviour. Conclusion This study found that most caregivers had inappropriate health seeking behaviour regarding episodes of acute diarrhoea in children under five years old. Except for young age of caregivers and low household income of caregivers, no other factors were found to be associated with appropriate health seeking behaviour of caregivers of children under five years old. Older age and higher income were associated with inappropriate health seeking behaviour.