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Correlates of Paediatric Malaria Prevention and Health Seeking Behaviour in Households within Homa Bay County, Kenya

Author: Kodhiambo M.O. , Amugune B.K.
Is Part Of: Pharmaceutical Journal of Kenya, Volume 23, No. 3 (2018)
Decisions and practices on paediatric malaria prevention and care seeking depends significantly on household characteristics.
To investigate the influence of household factors on paediatric malaria prevention and health seeking behaviour in Homa-Bay County.
We performed a population based cross sectional survey for a period of four months. A total of 406 households, representing all households in Homa-Bay County, were sampled by multistage cluster sampling. We administered questionnaires to consenting household heads. Data was analyzed by an R statistical software where descriptive summary statistics were run followed by chi square statistic to assess associations.ResultsMost households (60%) were urban, headed by a father (75%), majority being Christians (93%), with secondary education (35%), in self-employment (54%) and monthly income below KShs. 10000 (80%). Up to 42% of the respondents knew malaria as an infection, transmitted by mosquito bite (82%), manifesting mainly with fever and headache (71%). Main source of information was electronic media (43). Majority (91%) had bed nets with 48% having 2-3 nets. Most of respondents (92%) slept under the nets the night before the survey and most treated their nets within two months to the survey. 91% of the households had a child with fever in the month preceding the survey with majority (54%) seeking care on the same day. Government hospitals (58%) were preferred for seeking care and most patients (83%) underwent microscopic diagnosis. Choice of place of care seeking was influenced by knowledge on malaria, occupation, severity of fever, education and income, all with p-values<0.001. Time taken before care seeking was associated with occupation (p=0.02), fever severity (p<0.001), drugs at home (p<0.001), education (p=0.035) and income (p<0.001).
Owning nets alone is not enough to prevent malaria. Net use, treatment and care also matter. Household characteristics influence prompt care seeking.

Keywords: Household, Paediatric malaria, Prevention, Health seeking behaviour, Homa-Bay
Publisher: The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya
ISSN: 2411-6386