NkengafacNyiawung Fobellah1*, Anna Njunda Longoh2, FolefockAjua Richard Medterrand3 and Efengo Vanessa4
1Lecturer, School of Health and Human Sciences, St Monica University, Buea, Cameroon
2Lecturer Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Buea, Cameroon
3Regional Coordinator of Malaria, West Region, Cameroon
4Masters student at International relations Institute of Cameroon, University of Yaounde I, Cameroon
*Corresponding Author: NkengafacNyiawungFobellah, Lecturer, School of Health and Human Sciences, St Monica University, Buea, Cameroon.
Received: May 25, 2020; Published: July 21, 2020
Background: Malaria is one of the diseases which contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality in Africa with 91% of deaths being children under-five. Despite all efforts to combat malaria, this disease still remains the leading killer of under five children killing a child every minute. Malaria usually progress to its severe state within a very short period of time. Generally mothers/caregivers are the first to recognize fever in children and also determine the decision to seek care. Therefore, recognition of the symptoms of malaria by caregivers and their practices toward seeking treatment is invaluable in order for malaria to be treated in a timely manner.
Objectives: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of malaria in children under five, and also to investigate the local perceptions, practices and treatment-seeking behaviour for malaria among their caregivers.
Methodology: This study was a cross sectional descriptive, community based study done from January to march 2014. Children under five years were enrolled for the study. Malaria RDT was done for parasitological evaluation. Questionnaires were administered to children’s caregivers to collect socio-demographic data, knowledge regarding malaria, preventive measures and treatment seeking behaviours.
Results: Of the 350 children examined, 174 (49.7%) [95% CI: 44.37 - 55.07%] were infected with malaria (plasmodium falciparum). Male and females were similarly infected (41.4% vs. 51.6%) with no significant difference (p = 0.4). The prevalence appeared to be highest 41 (23.6%) in the age group [24 - 36] months. Caregivers 280 (80%) had proper knowledge on malaria with 316 (90.3%) mentioning mosquito bite as the cause of malaria. Likewise fever/hot body was perceived as the commonest symptom of malaria by 332 (95%) of caregivers [95% CI: 91.9 - 987%]. With regards to caregivers’ practices on prevention, 308 (88%) use insecticide treated nets (ITN) as a preventive method. Only 205 (58.6%) of caregivers sought treatment at the health facility when their child was ill. As few as 119 (34%) did so within 24 hours of onset of symptoms. The most common home remedies employed were tepid sponging and use of anti pyretics.
Conclusion: Caregivers had a good knowledge of malaria (including its aetiologic agent, signs and symptoms and preventive measures). They also had a good practice towards preventive measures. However, the prevalence of malaria in under-five was high and only a lesser majority of caregivers sought treatment at the health facility in a timely manner.
Keywords: Caregivers; Under-Five Children;EkombeBonji; Cameroon
Citation: NkengafacNyiawung Fobellah., et al. “Caregivers’ Perception and Practices on Malaria in Children Under Five in EkombeBonji Health Area, Kumba Health District, South West Region of Cameroon”. Acta Scientific Medical Sciences 4.8 (2020): 52-55.
Copyright: © 2020 NkengafacNyiawung Fobellah., et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.