Knowledge and child care practices regarding childhood diarrhoea- A cross sectional study
Background: Diarrhea still continues to be a leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality and holds the second rank (after pneumonia) for mortality in children < 5 years of age. The majority of these deaths can be avoided by timely intervention. The knowledge of caretakers about the severity of diarrheal illness ultimately affects the choice for childcare practices and influences the type of therapies received. Objectives: To assess the various aspect of maternal knowledge about diarrhea in under-five age children. To determine the child care practices of mothers during diarrheal episodes.Materials and methods: A cross-sectional survey was carried out from February to May 2014. 5 villages were selected by systematic random sampling method in rural field training area of medical college. A self-designed and pre-tested structured questionnaire was used as study tool which covers different aspect of knowledge and childcare practices by mothers/caretakers regarding diarrhea. Overall responses of participants were scored as good, average and poor for assessment of knowledge and practice. Results: Total 972 mother/caretakers were interviewed. Most of the mothers/caretakers (62.1%) were in favor of giving of breast milk as preferred oral fluid during diarrheal episode. Nearly one fourth of mothers/caretakers (26.1%) identify symptoms and signs of "dehydration" and the need for consultation. During diarrheal episodes less amount of food and fluid was given by 49.9% and 20.4% mothers/caretaker respectively. The higher level educated and employed mothers had better practices (P < 0.001) Conclusion: The study showed that knowledge and childcare practices for diarrhea still remains a great challenge among the rural population. This could be only deals with improvement in female literacy and to develop and implement diarrhea related educational interventions for mothers/caretakers.