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Rwanda Medical Journal
Rwanda Health Communication Center - Rwanda Biomedical Center (RHCC - RBC)
ISSN: 2079-097X
EISSN: 2079-097X
Vol. 78, No. 1, 2021, pp. 30-37
Bioline Code: rw21005
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Rwanda Medical Journal, Vol. 78, No. 1, 2021, pp. 30-37

 en Pre-Hospital Treatment of Children with Fever: Beliefs and Practices of Caregivers in Ado-Ekiti, South-West Nigeria
Fadare, J.O.; Olatunya, O.S.; Babatola, A.O.; Fatunla, O.; Omoniyi, E. & Taiwo, A.B.


BACKGROUND: Fever is a common complaint among children presenting in healthcare facilities worldwide, and its timely treatment can reduce the severity and consequences of childhood febrile diseases. This study set out to investigate the pre-hospital treatment of childhood fever in a semi-urban town in South-west Nigeria. The main objective was to assess the practice of pre-hospital treatment of fever among caregivers attending the children outpatients’ clinic.
METHODS: A questionnaire-based descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 256 caregivers who brought their febrile wards to the children outpatients` clinic during the study period.
RESULTS: Two-hundred and fifty-six caregivers were interviewed during the study period. The median age of children in the study was 24 months, with males (154/60.2%) making up the majority. Caregivers checked for fever in their wards by touching (220/85.9%) and using a thermometer (28/10.9%). The majority (175/68.4%) of the caregivers had given the children one form of drug treatment before presenting at the teaching hospital. Before presenting at the hospital, the median time (delay) was two days, with most caregivers (105/59.3%) obtaining drugs from patent medicine stores. Common medications used in the pre-hospital treatment of fever by caregivers were paracetamol (172/51.8%), anti-malarial drugs (82/24.7%), antibiotics (49/14.8%) and vitamins (29/8.7%).
CONCLUSION: Pre-hospital treatment of fever was a common practice among respondents in this study. Education of caregivers on early recognition of common childhood febrile diseases and the institution of appropriate, timely home management should be incorporated into the care package for children presenting with febrile illnesses in Nigeria.

Home Treatment; Fever; Children; Perception; Belief; Practice; Caregivers

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