A study to assess the practices of mothers of under-five children in childhood diarrhoea in a tertiary care hospital of Northeast India
Keywords:Attitudes, Diarrhoea, Mothers, Practices, ORS, under-five children
Background: Diarrhoea is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in under-five children. The incidence of diarrhoea has remained almost unchanged over the past few decades. A mother is the primary care-giver of a child. Therefore, one of the key factors that determine the survival of a sick-child is her attitude and practices in the event of diarrhoea. The present study was therefore undertaken to understand the different aspects of their care-giving behaviour.
Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was carried out in the Department of Paediatrics, Agartala Government Medical College and G. B. Pant Hospital, Agartala, Tripura, India over a period of two months. 700 mothers of under-five children attending the OPD were interviewed with a pre-designed and structured interview schedule.
Results: The usage of ORS was about one-fourth. And only one-fifth out of all the participating mothers could show how to prepare ORS solution correctly. Correct practices regarding various aspects of administering ORS solution like duration of usage, frequency of administering, duration of the therapy, etc were not observed in majority of the participating mothers. A preference for home-made fluids was also noted in most of the participants. Educational level and past experience of managing a child with diarrhoea significantly affected their practices.
Conclusions: Even though ORS is widely and easily available, easy to use and cost-effective, considerable work needs to be done in the context of adequate practices in its administration to a child affected by diarrhoea and increase its acceptability.
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