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Study on Health Seeking Behavior of Mothers for Childhood Illnesses


  • Aisha Khan Muzaffarullah
  • Agency : ADD, ARI and Health seeking behavior
  • Objective : To study the incidence of Acute Diarrhoeal Disease (ADD) and Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) in the under five population and the treatment seeking behavior of the child care givers.


  • Background : Care seeking interventions can potentially reduce child mortality, especially in developing countries like India where a large number of children die without even reaching a health facility and due to delays in seeking care. According to WHO estimates seeking prompt and appropriate care can reduce child deaths caused due to acute respiratory infections by 20 percent. According to NFHS 3-33 percent children <5 years with diarrhea received oral rehydration therapy or increased fluids, with continued feeding and 69 percent children <5 years with suspected pneumonia taken to appropriate health provider and 13 percent received antibiotics. Seven among ten, under five deaths, in these countries were from illnesses like diarrhea, acute respiratory infections, measles, malaria or malnutrition.


  • Methodology : A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted in Chandpur village of Panchmahal district using a structured questionnaire. The sample population was selected using purposive quota sampling technique. A house to house survey was carried out in selected villages and mothers/care givers were interviewed on various aspects of ARI and ADD.


  • Findings : A total of 135 children were surveyed which comprised of infants (35) (0-1 year) and children small (104) (1-5 years). It was that found 95% Children had suffered Acute Diarrheal Disease and Acute Respiratory Infection. The total number of cases with ADD symptoms were 52 (12 infants and 40 children in the age group 1-5 years). The total number of cases with ARI symptoms were 86 (18 infants and 68 children 1-5 years. Nearly 55 percent of the ARI cases and 34 percent of ADD cases who sought treatment contacted private practitioners. There was a lack of awareness about Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) among child care takers. (14%)


  • Recommendations : The study findings from the steady undertaper show an underutilization of the established government facilities and services of government doctors and health workers. Hence Primary healthcare services in this study area need consideration by planners and healthcare providers. Low utilization of ORS during diarrhea shows low knowledge of the necessity of its use. Poor knowledge of signs of childhood illnesses warrants the need for stronger implementation of Integrated Management of childhood illnesses programme to improve family's care seeking. Their ability to recognize signs of childhood illnesses.


To study the incidence of Acute Diarrhoeal Disease (ADD) and Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) in the under five population and the treatment seeking behavior of the child care givers.