Caregiver Home Based Practices for Managing Children Aged (0-59 Months) With Diarrheal Disease in Busia County, Kenya
Mwaro, Dickson Otiangala
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Globally, diarrhea remains the second leading cause of reported mortalities among children (0-59 months) and a cause of significant morbidity, especially in developing countries. In Kenya, diarrhea accounts for 16% of deaths among children (0-59 months). It’s a major cause of mortality in children below five years after malaria and pneumonia in Busia County. Many of the children die due to poor home-based management of diarrhea. The main aim of the study was to explore the different interventions care givers use to manage diarrhea among children (0-59 months) in Busia County and factors associated with home-based management of diarrhea. This was a facility-based descriptive cross-sectional study done in Busia County. Multistage sampling was used to obtain the study sample and a sample size of 389 was used. Both inferential and descriptive statistics were used for quantitative data. Chi-square was used to test relationships between dependent and independent variables at 95% confidence interval. Logistic regression was used to examine the associations between socio-demographic and economic factors, level of knowledge and practices adopted for home-based care. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered significant. The general knowledge of caregivers on home-based care was unsatisfactory. Out of the 389 caregivers interviewed, only 114(29.3%) had good knowledge level of knowledge on home-based management of diarrhea. Specifically, only 62(20.6%) could mention more than 1 acceptable cause of diarrhea while less than half of the caregivers (48%) thought diarrhea could be prevented. Knowledge of diarrhea management was also not sufficient. Despite all (389 caregivers) having practiced home-based management of diarrhea in the in the last 2 weeks, the study revealed that the overall home-based care practices were inappropriate 280(72%). Socio-demographic and economic factors like education, occupation, distance to the health facility, source of information and number of household members were significantly associated with appropriate home-based management of diarrhea at <0.001*, <0.001*, 0.044*, 0.003 and 0.001 respectively. Good level of caregivers knowledge was also significant to appropriate home-based management of diarrhea (<0.001*). When other factors had been adjusted, caregivers education p=0111 and care givers level of knowledge p= 0.0021 were found to be significantly associated with appropriate home-based care of diarrhea in children (0-59 months). The general conclusion of the study was that the caregivers’ level of knowledge about diarrhea was unsatisfactory and measures adopted by caregivers for home-based management of diarrhea were inappropriate. There is, therefore, need for extensive educational interventions such as health education and promotion activities on diarrheal diseases in the study area, together with emphasize on teaching caregivers about the “germ theory” of disease causation, effects, dangers as well as appropriate home management practices and prevention of diarrheal diseases.