Knowledge, attitudes and practices of mothers attending child health clinic at Katooke Health Centre III, Kyenjojo district on malaria prevention and control in children under-five years

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Kampala International University, School of Health Sciences
Approximately, out of 3.4 billion people worldwide who are exposed to malaria annually, 1.2 billion are mainly children 0-5 years, and pregnant women (WHO, 2013). Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Uganda and is responsible for up to 40% of all outpatient visits, 25% of all hospital admissions and 14% of all hospital deaths. From Unpublished medical records of Katooke Health Centre III (2016) indicated that approximately 15 malaria cases among under-five year’s children reported every week, equivalent to 720 cases that year. A quantitative descriptive cross-sectional study employed simple random sampling technique to select mothers and care takers of under-five years children as participants in the study to recruit 67 respondents from whom data was collected using a structured questionnaire. The results indicated that; majority of mothers and care takers were aged 20-30 years (50.7%), biological parents (86.4%). With low levels of education (with 66.6% primary level, and 22.3% none at all), peasants (80.5%). Majority (95.5%) had ever heard about malaria in under five years children; mothers knew fever (89.5%), vomiting (74.6%) and diarrhea (67.1%) as signs of malaria. Mothers lacked knowledge on vulnerable age group (<5years children). Majority (80.5%) were confident to use malaria prevention and control measures, where (83.5%) strongly agreed that sleeping under ITNs prevents malaria in <5, and (64.1%) strongly agreed that chemical spraying prevents malaria in under five. Whereas there were misconceptions in (67.1%) of mothers that contaminated food cause malaria, (38.8%) that immunization prevents malaria. Majority (59.7%) slashed near homes to prevent malaria in under five; only (46.2%) slept their < 5 children under ITNs. Mothers (62.6%) go to health unit for treatment of malaria in <5, however, majority (35.8%) seek health care late by 13-18 hours. The study concluded that, Mothers had knowledge on malaria prevention; they knew symptoms of simple malaria like fever, but lacked knowledge on signs of severe and complicated malaria like jaundice, parlor, organomegaly and convulsions. They lacked knowledge on vulnerability to malaria of under five years to adults. Had positive attitudes towards ITNs, Spraying, while had misconceptions on contaminated food, misty weather as causes of malaria. Knowledge on malaria prevention in under five was high, but realistic practices on malaria prevention and control were very low, where majority did not use ITNs, and in case of suspected malaria, they delayed to seek health care early
A research report submitted to Uganda Nurses and Midwives Examination Board in partial of the requirements for the award of a Diploma in Nursing Sciences
Malaria, Malaria prevention and control, Katooke Health Centre III, Kyenjojo district