*Corresponding author:Andreas Chiabi, Pediatric Unit, Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital / Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I, P.O. Box 4362, Yaounde, Cameroon
Received: March 16, 2018; Published: March 23, 2018
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Knowledge and practices of mothers on the home management of diarrhea is a key element in the management of diarrhea in a child so as to intervene early and thereby avoiding complications. The knowledge and practices of mothers on the early management of diarrhea at home is important in the prevention of diarrhea related complications. Despite all the strategies put in place in communities and health facilities to reduce childhood mortality in Cameroon, the prevalence of diarrheal diseases remains high, especially in the northern regions. This study was aimed at assessing the knowledge and practices of mothers on the home management of childhood diarrhea in Ngaoundere, a town in the northern part of Cameroon where its prevalence still remains high. This was a cross sectional and analytical study in the urban zone of the Ngaoundere from February 1st to April 30th 2015. Five-hundred-and-fifty mothers participated in the study. A score was established to rate the variables ‘’knowledge’’ and ‘’practices’’ of mothers. Data were collected and entered in a questionnaire. Analysis was done with SPSS version 20.0. The threshold of significance was defined as a P-value less than 0.05.
The majority (40.7%) of mothers were aged between 15 and 25 years. Most of them (40.4%) had reached secondary school level while 68.5% were housewives with 76.1% having adequate knowledge on diarrhea and good home management. The mothers’ and fathers’ level of education significantly (P=0.02 and 0.000 respectively) influenced the mothers’ knowledge. Good practices were performed by 66.3% of the mothers. The factors that influenced these good practices were: the academic level and profession of the parents (P <0.01), the household environment namely the use of taps and the presence of latrine toilets (P=0.013). Most mothers have sufficient knowledge as well as good practices towards the home management of diarrhea. These are influenced by the level of education and profession of the parents, health education and by the environment the family lives in.
Keywords: Children; Mothers; Diarrhea; Cameroon
Abbrevations: IMCI: Integrated Management of Childhood Illness; ORS: Oral rehydration salts; ORT: Oral Rehydration Therapy; UNICEF: United Nations Children’s Fund; WHO: World Health Organization
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