Care Seeking Behaviour of Families for their Sick Infants and Factors Impeding to their Early Care Seeking in Rural Part of Central IndiaCorrespondence Address :
Dr. Tushar Jagzape,
Quarter No-302, 2nd Floor, Type-5A, AIIMS Residential Complex, Kabir Nagar, Raipur-492099, Chhattisgarh, India.
Introduction: India is still among the high Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) countries (44 per 1000 live births in the year 2012). Of the deaths, 33% is accounted by pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria. This can be prevented if timely treatment is provided. Thus healthcare seeking behaviour is important and plays a central role for disease prevention, identification of danger signs and treatment for the well-being not only of the individual child, but also the community.
Aim: To assess the parents’ knowledge about danger signs of illness in infants, care seeking behaviour and gender differences in it and also to identify factors impeding early care seeking.
Materials and Methods: This was a two month community based observational study conducted during May-June 2014 with the help of a self-designed, prevalidated questionnaire with face to face interview of 303 mothers in villages of central India. Percentages of mothers aware of various childhood diseases and their healthcare seeking behaviour were calculated and chi-square test was used to assess gender differences in healthcare seeking.
Results: About 97.6% (296) of mothers were aware of diarrhoeal diseases. Awareness about pneumonia, convulsion and jaundice was 47.8% (145), 43.8% (133) and 41.2% (125) respectively. Only 16.5% (86) and 15.8% (48) were aware of malnutrition and anaemia. A 86 (29.05%) of those aware of diarrhoeal disease were unaware of any complications related to diarrhoea. This figure was 33% (100) and 18.1% (55) for febrile and respiratory illness respectively. Private practitioners for 181 (59.7%), Public health facility for 108 (35.6%) and traditional healers for 14 (4.7%) were the preferred health facilities. For 46.8% (142), qualification of doctor was not important. For male infant 95 (52.4%) preferred private health facility as against 38 (31.1%) for female (p<0.001). Cost of treatment among 114 (37.6%), distance of health care facility among 91 (30.03%), unavailability of doctors among 90 (29.7%), lack of easy transport among 76 (25.08%) were the hindrances.
Conclusion:Awareness about malnutrition, anaemia and danger signs of common illnesses were poor. Local private practitioners were the preferred medical support. There were gender differences in choosing the healthcare facility. Financial constraints and poor connectivity were barriers for early care seeking.
Community based study, Diarrhoeal diseases, Gender differences, Respiratory diseases
Date of Submission: Mar 08, 2017
Date of Peer Review: Apr 24, 2017
Date of Acceptance: Jan 16, 2018
Date of Publishing: Apr 01, 2018
FINANCIAL OR OTHER COMPETING INTERESTS: As declared above.
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