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      Caregivers’ treatment-seeking behaviour for children under age five in malaria-endemic areas of rural Myanmar: a cross-sectional study


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          A community-based malaria intervention was introduced through fixed and mobile clinics in rural Myanmar. This study attempted to identify treatment-seeking behaviour of caregivers for children under five and the determinants of appropriate treatment-seeking behaviour in mobile clinic villages (MV) and non-mobile clinic villages (NMV) in malaria-endemic rural areas in Myanmar.


          A cross-sectional study was conducted in 23 MV and 25 NMV in Ingapu Township, Myanmar. Appropriate treatment-seeking behaviour was operationally defined as seeking treatment from trained personnel or at a health facility within 24 hours after the onset of fever. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify the determinants of appropriate treatment-seeking behaviour.


          Among the 597 participants in both types of villages, 166 (35.3%) caregivers sought appropriate treatment. No significant difference in appropriate treatment-seeking behaviour was found between the two types of villages (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 0.80; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.51-1.24). Determinants of behaviour include proximity to public health facilities (AOR, 5.86; 95% CI, 3.43-10.02), knowledge of malaria (AOR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.14-3.17), malaria prevention behaviour (AOR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.13-2.76), treatment at home (AOR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.15-0.45), and treatment and transportation costs (AOR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.33-0.83).


          Caregivers’ treatment-seeking behaviour was poor for fever cases among children under age five, and did not differ significantly between MV and NMV. It is necessary to educate caregivers, particularly for early treatment seeking and appropriate use of health care options for fever, and catering to their medical needs. These findings can help promote awareness and prevention, and improve the quality of interventions at the community level.

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          Inequities among the very poor: health care for children in rural southern Tanzania.

          Few studies have been done to assess socioeconomic inequities in health in African countries. We sought evidence of inequities in health care by sex and socioeconomic status for young children living in a poor rural area of southern Tanzania. In a baseline household survey in Tanzania early in the implementation phase of integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI), we included cluster samples of 2006 children younger than 5 years in four rural districts. Questions focused on the extent to which carers' knowledge of illness, care-seeking outside the home, and care in health facilities were consistent with IMCI guidelines and messages. We used principal components analysis to develop a relative index of household socioeconomic status, with weighted scores of information on income sources, education of the household head, and household assets. 1026 (52%) of 1968 children reported having been ill in the 2 weeks before the survey. Carers of 415 (41%) of 1014 of these children had sought care first from an appropriate provider. 71 (26%) carers from families in the wealthiest quintile knew > or =2 danger signs compared with 48 (20%) of those from the poorest (p=0.03 for linear trend across quintiles) and wealthier families were more likely to bring their sick children to a health facility (p=0.02). Their children were more likely than poorer children to have received antimalarials, and antibiotics for pneumonia (p=0.0001 and 0.0048, respectively). Care-seeking behaviour is worse in poorer than in relatively rich families, even within a rural society that might easily be assumed to be uniformly poor.
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            World Malaria Report, 2011

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              Feasibility and acceptability of artemisinin-based combination therapy for the home management of malaria in four African sites

              Background The Home Management of Malaria (HMM) strategy was developed using chloroquine, a now obsolete drug, which has been replaced by artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in health facility settings. Incorporation of ACT in HMM would greatly expand access to effective antimalarial therapy by the populations living in underserved areas in malaria endemic countries. The feasibility and acceptability of incorporating ACT in HMM needs to be evaluated. Methods A multi-country study was performed in four district-size sites in Ghana (two sites), Nigeria and Uganda, with populations ranging between 38,000 and 60,000. Community medicine distributors (CMDs) were trained in each village to dispense pre-packaged ACT to febrile children aged 6–59 months, after exclusion of danger signs. A community mobilization campaign accompanied the programme. Artesunate-amodiaquine (AA) was used in Ghana and artemether-lumefantrine (AL) in Nigeria and Uganda. Harmonized qualitative and quantitative data collection methods were used to evaluate CMD performance, caregiver adherence and treatment coverage of febrile children with ACTs obtained from CMDs. Results Some 20,000 fever episodes in young children were treated with ACT by CMDs across the four study sites. Cross-sectional surveys identified 2,190 children with fever in the two preceding weeks, of whom 1,289 (59%) were reported to have received ACT from a CMD. Coverage varied from 52% in Nigeria to 75% in Ho District, Ghana. Coverage rates did not appear to vary greatly with the age of the child or with the educational level of the caregiver. A very high proportion of children were reported to have received the first dose on the day of onset or the next day in all four sites (range 86–97%, average 90%). The proportion of children correctly treated in terms of dose and duration was also high (range 74–97%, average 85%). Overall, the proportion of febrile children who received prompt treatment and the correct dose for the assigned duration of treatment ranged from 71% to 87% (average 77%). Almost all caregivers perceived ACT to be effective, and no severe adverse events were reported. Conclusion ACTs can be successfully integrated into the HMM strategy.

                Author and article information

                Malar J
                Malar. J
                Malaria Journal
                BioMed Central (London )
                5 January 2015
                : 14
                [ ]Community and Global Health Department, Graduate School of Medicine, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
                [ ]Department of Medical Research (Lower Myanmar), Yangon, Republic of the Union of Myanmar
                © Thandar et al.; licensee BioMed Central. 2015

                This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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