Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12105/6817
Rural-Urban Differences in Household Treatment-Seeking Behaviour for Suspected Malaria in Children at Bata District, Equatorial Guinea
PLoS One. 2015 Aug 18;10(8):e0135887
BACKGROUND: Malaria remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children under five years old in Equatorial Guinea. However, little is known about the community management of malaria and treatment-seeking patterns. We aimed to assess symptoms of children with reported malaria and treatment-seeking behaviour of their caretakers in rural and urban areas in the Bata District. METHODOLOGY: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the district of Bata and 440 houses were selected from 18 rural villages and 26 urban neighbourhoods. Differences between rural and urban caregivers and children with reported malaria were assessed through the chi-squared test for independence of categorical variables and the t-Student or the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test for normally or not-normally distributed continuous variables, respectively. RESULTS: Differences between rural and urban households were observed in caregiver treatment-seeking patterns. Fever was the main symptom associated with malaria in both areas. Malaria was treated first at home, particularly in rural areas. The second step was to seek treatment outside the home, mainly at hospital and Health Centre for rural households and at hospital and private clinic for urban ones. Artemether monotherapy was the antimalarial treatment prescribed most often. Households waited for more than 24 hours before seeking treatment outside and delays were longest in rural areas. The total cost of treatment was higher in urban than in rural areas in Bata. CONCLUSIONS: The delays in seeking treatment, the type of malaria therapy received and the cost of treatment are the principal problems found in Bata District. Important steps for reducing malaria morbidity and mortality in this area are to provide sufficient supplies of effective antimalarial drugs and to improve malaria treatment skills in households and in both public and private sectors.
Adolescent | Adult | Aged | Antimalarials | Caregivers | Child | Equatorial Guinea | Female | Humans | Malaria | Male | Middle Aged | Patient Acceptance of Health Care | Rural Population | Time Factors | Urban Population | Young Adult | Housing
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