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Towards a sociology of health care utilisation in the case of children with malaria in Nigeria

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dc.contributor.advisor Prof. Anton Senekal; Prof. Cecilia Van Zyl-Schalekamp en_US
dc.contributor.author Abdullahi, Ali Arazeem
dc.date.accessioned 2012-11-14T19:06:06Z
dc.date.available 2012-11-14T19:06:06Z
dc.date.issued 2012-11-14
dc.date.submitted 2011-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/8196
dc.description Ph.D. en_US
dc.description.abstract Background: Most recent data have shown a slight reduction in the incidence of malaria in Nigeria. However, cases of malaria in children younger than five years of age have continued to escalate amidst ‘simple’ and ‘effective’ treatment options. The realisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – to halve the burden of malaria by 2015 – is becoming increasingly unrealistic in Nigeria following the alarming rates of malaria in children. Apart from the ecological and environmental factors, socio-cultural and behavioural factors might be responsible for the staggering cases of malaria in children in local communities in Nigeria. It was against this background that a sociological study of health care service utilisation was conducted among caregivers of children with malaria. The study investigated the perceived threat of malaria; how the local understanding of malaria affects the recognition of signs and symptoms, perceived aetiology, treatment-seeking patterns and the use of insecticide treated nets (ITNs). The socio-generational changes in the healthcare seeking behaviour between young and older mothers as well as differences in the patterns of health care service utilisation between rural and urban subjects were also interrogated. Method: This study adopted a qualitative research design using complementary methods. A total of 40 semi-structured interviews, 20 in-depth interviews and four focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with caregivers and health workers. The respondents included young and older parents between the ages of 25 and 80 years whose children or wards below the age of five had manifested malaria symptoms at one time or another. A purposive sampling procedure was used to select sample for the study. The study was conducted in two selected rural areas; Okanle and Fajeromi; and one urban centre; Ilorin, Kwara State of Nigeria. Findings: The research indicated that the perceived aetiology, symptoms and treatment of malaria in children were largely influenced by the socio-cultural patterns of the communities studied. The study found that the first line of treatment for children with malaria in the communities of study was usually home treatment using traditional herbal medicines. The use of modern health care facilities is usually seen as the last resort. The traditional beliefs about causes of malaria, affordability and trust in herbal medicines, on the one hand, were found to be responsible for the widespread use of herbal medicines in the treatment of malaria in children. On the other hand, poor service delivery, lack of money, attitudes of medical personnel, mixed feelings about the efficacy of modern medicines and lack of trust in the community health centres were some factors found to be responsible for delays in seeking modern health care services when children have malaria. More importantly, the decision to seek treatment from either traditional or modern sources was largely influenced by the network of informal social interaction and social support at household and community levels. In addition, the study also found some changes in the patterns of health care seeking behaviour of young and older caregivers but generally found no differences in the patterns of health care seeking behaviour between rural and urban participants. Finally, the study found that the majority of the respondents were not aware of the effectiveness of the ITNs. Consequently, there was a high dependence on the use of traditional preventive measures which included a local leaf known as “ewe-efon” translated as “mosquito leaf”. Apart from the perceived corruption and mismanagement at the level of distribution of the ITNs, lack of appropriate knowledge about the effectiveness of the ITNs was discovered to be responsible for the widespread non-acceptance of the ITN in the prevention of malaria in children. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Malaria in children - Nigeria en_US
dc.subject Malaria prevention - Nigeria
dc.subject Malaria treatment - Nigeria
dc.subject Child health services - Nigeria
dc.title Towards a sociology of health care utilisation in the case of children with malaria in Nigeria en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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