Knowledge and Practice of Mothers/Caregivers on Home Management of Diarrhea in Under Five Children in Mareka District, Southern Ethiopia

Terefe Dodicho


Back ground: Diarrhea is the most common pediatric disease. The vast majority of deaths from diarrhea are among children under 5 years of age living in low and middle income countries. Early and correct identification of diseases and prompt initiation of management plays a key role in reducing diarrhea related mortality. The role of mothers is vital in health promotion, disease prevention and patient care. Objective: The present study is aimed to investigate the knowledge and practice of mothers/caregivers on home management of diarrhea in under-five  children in Mareka district, Dawuro zone, SNNPR, Ethiopia. Methods: Community based cross-sectional study was employed from March 1-30, 2015. Multi stage stratified sampling technique was used to select subjects to be included in the study from 11 Kebeles.  Data were collected using self-designed and pre-tested structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Demographic information of the mother & child and information on knowledge  & practice on pediatric diarrhea management at home were investigated. Overall responses of participants were scored as good and poor for assessment of knowledge and practice. Results: Total of 654 mothers/caregivers were participated in the study. Most (70.3%) of the mothers/ caregivers were in favor of sustained feeding (breast milk, solid and liquid food) during episodes of diarrhea in their children while 194 (29.7%) supported diet withdrawal. The level of knowledge among respondents on home management of diarrhea was found to be good in 438 (67%) respondents and poor in 216 (33%) respondents respectively. But the level of practice on home management of diarrhea among respondents was good in 309 (47.2%) respondents and poor in 345 (52.8%) respondents respectively. Only 50 (37.6%) respondents were aware about the correct amount of ingredients of homemade ORS (salt-sugar solution). A significant relationship was found between mothers educational level secondary and above,  mothers of  male index child & mothers residence in urban areas and mothers’ knowledge. Mothers age and residence in urban areas were significantly associated with mothers’ practice. Conclusion: There is a wide gap in the knowledge and practice of mothers regarding home based management of diarrhea. Therefore, strategies to increase awareness and practice of mothers on home management of diarrhea are needed.

Keywords: childhood diarrhea, home management, knowledge and practice of mothers.

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