Understanding Child Illness and Malaria Care Seeking in Bauchi State Nigeria

Bright Orji, Masduk Abdulkarim, William Sambisa, Amos Paul Bassi, Solomon Thliza, and William Brieger shares a poster at the 2014 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting that focuses on a baseline study for child illness interventions under the USAID Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP). The authors work with John Snow International and Jhpiego. The poster abstract follows:

Bright at APHA IMG_6630Seeking of appropriate and quality 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.

treatmentTheir 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.

DSCN2924 wideCare 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 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.

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