Malaria and febrile illness care seeking in Bauchi State, Nigeria

World Malaria Day 2014 was observed at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Admiral Tim Ziemer, the Coordinator of the US President’s Malaria Initiative was keynote speaker. Other speakers from the NGO and faith based organization community also talked about the importance of partnership in fighting a disease that still claims 600,000 lives annually.  In addition 21 posters were presented.

Below is the abstract of one poster representing our work with USAID’s Targeted States High Impact Project in Nigeria.

Malaria and febrile illness care seeking in Bauchi State, Nigeria: context for improving case management at the primary level

Seeking of appropriate and qDSCN2939uality care for childhood illnesses is a major challenge in much of Africa including Bauchi State, Nigeria. In advance of an intervention to improve available care in the most common points of service (POS), government primary health care centers (PHCs) and patent medicine vendors (PMV), a survey was done of child caregivers in four districts concerning responses to febrile illness, suspected malaria, acute respiratory disease and diarrhea. The ethical review committee in the Bauchi State Ministry of Health approved of the study.

A total of 3077 children below the age of five were identified in the households sampled. Their mothers, fathers or other caregivers consented and were interviewed. Among the children 74% had any Illness, 57% had fever, 26% had cough, and 15% had diarrhoea. Only 8.7% of 1186 febrile children had their blood tested.

Care seeking from PMVs varied from 45% with fever, 40% with cough to 36% with diarrhoea. Care from public sector POS varied from 26-33%. Treatment that might be considered ‘appropriate’ for each also varied with 30% receiving antimalarial drugs for suspected malaria, 20% getting oral rehydration solution for diarrhoea and 50% being given an antibiotic for a suspected acute respiratory illness.

The results show that providing quality integrated case management with appropriate commodities through PHCs and PMVs can improve the illness care of a majority of children in Bauchi State, and interventions are currently being planned to do this.

Poster by … William R. Brieger, MPH, CHES, DrPH 1, Bright Orji, MPH 2, Masduk Abdulkarim 3, (1) International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, The John Hopkins University, 615 N Wolfe St, Baltimore, MD 21205 (and Jhpiego). (2) Jhpiego, Thames St, Baltimore, MD 21231`. (3) Targeted States High Impact Project USAID Nigeria, Bauchi, Nigeria.

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