About 2 million episodes of diarrhoea occur each year in India. Of the 6.6 million deaths among children aged 28 days to 5 year; deaths from diarrhoea are estimated to account for 1.87 million. An average Indian child less than 5 years of age can have 2–3 episodes of diarrhoea. Mother’s literacy, family income, feeding practices, environmental conditions are important determinants of the common childhood infection like diarrhoea. The present study was undertaken to study these important determinants of recurrent diarrhoea among children under five in a rural area of western Maharashtra, India.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in six randomly selected villages of Ahmednagar district in western Maharashtra, India. Three villages from two primary health centres and 652 children under five from these villages were chosen by a simple random sampling technique (every fifth child enrolled in Anganwadi). House-to-house survey was done and data was collected by interviewing the mothers of these children. Nutritional status was assessed by measuring the weight and mid-arm circumference of the child. Statistical analysis was done with Microsoft Excel and StatistiXL 1.8 using percentage, proportions and chi-square test wherever applicable.
The prevalence of recurrent diarrhoea was 9.81%. Recurrent diarrhoea was more common in the age group of 13 – 24 months (29.6%) and 25 – 36 months (23.4%) and children belonging to lower socioeconomic class (64%). Malnutrition was significantly associated with recurrent diarrhoea and 21% of malnourished children had the same. Recurrent diarrhoea was significantly more common (39.1%) among children with introduction of top-up feeds before four to six months.
Low socioeconomic status, bad sanitary practices, nutritional status and weaning practices significantly influence the prevalence of recurrent diarrhoea.
Recurrent diarrhoea; children under five; rural area
Despite significant investments into health improvement programmes in Uganda, health indicators and access to healthcare remain poor across the country. The PRIME trial aims to evaluate the impact of a complex intervention delivered in public health centres on health outcomes of children and management of malaria in rural Uganda. The intervention consists of four components: Health Centre Management; Fever Case Management; Patient- Centered Services; and support for supplies of malaria diagnostics and antimalarial drugs.
The PROCESS study will use mixed methods to evaluate the processes, mechanisms of change, and context of the PRIME intervention by addressing five objectives. First, to develop a comprehensive logic model of the intervention, articulating the project’s hypothesised pathways to trial outcomes. Second, to evaluate the implementation of the intervention, including health worker training, health centre management tools, and the supply of artemether-lumefantrine (AL) and rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria. Third, to understand mechanisms of change of the intervention components, including testing hypotheses and interpreting realities of the intervention, including resistance, in context. Fourth, to develop a contextual record over time of factors that may have affected implementation of the intervention, mechanisms of change, and trial outcomes, including factors at population, health centre and district levels. Fifth, to capture broader expected and unexpected impacts of the intervention and trial activities among community members, health centre workers, and private providers. Methods will include intervention logic mapping, questionnaires, recorded consultations, in-depth interviews, focus group discussions, and contextual data documentation.
The findings of this PROCESS study will be interpreted alongside the PRIME trial results. This will enable a greater ability to generalise the findings of the main trial. The investigators will attempt to assess which methods are most informative in such evaluations of complex interventions in low-resource settings.
Process evaluation; Theory-driven evaluation; Pathways of change; Complex interventions; Cluster randomised trial
In Uganda, as in many parts of Africa, the majority of the population seek treatment for malaria in drug shops as their first point of care; however, parasitological diagnosis is not usually offered in these outlets. Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria have attracted interest in recent years as a tool to improve malaria diagnosis, since they have proved accurate and easy to perform with minimal training. Although RDTs could feasibly be performed by drug shop vendors, it is not known how much customers would be willing to pay for an RDT if offered in these settings. We conducted a contingent valuation survey among drug shop customers in Mukono District, Uganda. Exit interviews were undertaken with customers aged 15 years and above after leaving a drug shop having purchased an antimalarial and/or paracetamol. The bidding game technique was used to elicit the willingness-to-pay (WTP) for an RDT and a course of artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) with and without RDT confirmation. Factors associated with WTP were investigated using linear regression. The geometric mean WTP for an RDT was US$0.53, US$1.82 for a course of ACT and US$2.05 for a course of ACT after a positive RDT. Factors strongly associated with a higher WTP for these commodities included having a higher socio-economic status, no fever/malaria in the household in the past 2 weeks and if a malaria diagnosis had been obtained from a qualified health worker prior to visiting the drug shop. The findings further suggest that the WTP for an RDT and a course of ACT among drug shop customers is considerably lower than prevailing and estimated end-user prices for these commodities. Increasing the uptake of ACTs in drug shops and restricting the sale of ACTs to parasitologically confirmed malaria will therefore require additional measures.
Willingness-to-pay; contingent valuation; drug shop; malaria; rapid diagnostic test; artemisinin-based combination therapy; Uganda; D12; I11
Provision of pharmaceutical services in accredited drug-dispensing outlets (ADDOs) in Tanzania has not been reported. This study compared the antibiotics dispensing practice between ADDOs and part II shops, or duka la dawa baridi (DLDBs), in Tanzania.
This was a cross-sectional study that was conducted in ADDOs and DLDBs. A simulated client method for data collection was used, and a total of 85 ADDOs, located in Mvomero, Kilombero, and Morogoro rural districts, were compared with 60 DLDBs located in Kibaha district. The research assistants posed as simulated clients and requested to buy antibiotics from ADDOs and DLDBs after presenting a case scenario or disease condition. Among the diseases presented were those requiring antibiotics and those usually managed only by oral rehydration salt or analgesics. The simulated clients wanted to know the antibiotics that were available at the shop. The posed questions set a convincing ground to the dispenser either to dispense the antibiotic directly, request a prescription, or refer the patient to a health facility. Proportions were used to summarize categorical variables between ADDOs and DLDBs, and the chi-square test was used to test for statistical difference between the two drug-outlet types in terms of antibiotic-dispensing practice.
As many as 40% of trained ADDO dispensers no longer worked at the ADDO shops, so some of the shops employed untrained staff. A larger proportion of ADDOs than DLDBs dispensed antibiotics without prescriptions (P = 0.004). The overall results indicate that there was no difference between the two types of shops in terms of adhering to regulations for dispensing antibiotics. However, in some circumstances, eg, antibiotic sale without prescription and no referral made, for complicated cases, ADDOs performed worse than DLDBs. As many as 30% of DLDBs and 35% of ADDOs dispensed incomplete doses of antibiotics. In both ADDOs and DLDBs, fortified procaine penicillin powder was dispensed as topical application for injuries.
There was no statistical difference between ADDOs and DLDBs in the violation of dispensing practice and both ADDOs and DLDBs expressed poor knowledge of the basic pharmacology of antibiotics.
antibiotic-dispensing practice; duka la dawa baridi; accredited drug-dispensing outlets
Throughout Africa, the private retail sector has been recognised as an important source of antimalarial treatment, complementing formal health services. However, the quality of advice and treatment at private outlets is a widespread concern, especially with the introduction of artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). As a result, ACTs are often deployed exclusively through public health facilities, potentially leading to poorer access among parts of the population. This research aimed at assessing the performance of the retail sector in rural Tanzania. Such information is urgently required to improve and broaden delivery channels for life-saving drugs.
During a comprehensive shop census in the districts of Kilombero and Ulanga, Tanzania, we interviewed 489 shopkeepers about their knowledge of malaria and malaria treatment. A complementary mystery shoppers study was conducted in 118 retail outlets in order to assess the vendors' drug selling practices. Both studies included drug stores as well as general shops.
Shopkeepers in drug stores were able to name more malaria symptoms and were more knowledgeable about malaria treatment than their peers in general shops. In drug stores, 52% mentioned the correct child-dosage of sulphadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) compared to only 3% in general shops. In drug stores, mystery shoppers were more likely to receive an appropriate treatment (OR = 9.6), but at an approximately seven times higher price. Overall, adults were more often sold an antimalarial than children (OR = 11.3). On the other hand, general shopkeepers were often ready to refer especially children to a higher level if they felt unable to manage the case.
The quality of malaria case-management in the retail sector is not satisfactory. Drug stores should be supported and empowered to provide correct malaria-treatment with drugs they are allowed to dispense. At the same time, the role of general shops as first contact points for malaria patients needs to be re-considered. Interventions to improve availability of ACTs in the retail sector are urgently required within the given legal framework.
Community knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices are essential in any diarrhoea research. This cross-sectional study addresses these questions ill a semi-urban community in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. The study included 344 subjects and 276 controls v/’ all age groups. Most people had reasonable knowledge of diarrhoea. Mothers o/’ children with diarrhoea continued to fired them during the attack. However, some community practices were found to be harmful. The majority of diarrhoea cases neither sought medical attention, nor used oral rehydration salts (ORS) at home. Instead, they resorted to faulty self-medication. Overall use of ORS was 53%; much less than expected. Education of health personnel on ORS might improve its use. It was found that the community needs to be educated on the benefits of hand washing before meals and after changing soiled diapers, washing of eggs and the use of boiled water for the preparation of infant preparing feeds.
Diarrhoea; Knowledge; Attitude and Practice
Problem Maternal mortality in Uganda has remained unchanged at 500/100 000 over the past 10 years despite concerted efforts to improve the standard of maternity care. It is especially difficult to improve standards in rural areas, where there is little money for improvements. Furthermore, staff may be isolated, poorly paid, disempowered, lacking in morale, and have few skills to bring about change.
Design Training programme to introduce criteria based audit into rural Uganda.
Setting Makerere University Medical School, Mulago Hospital (large government teaching hospital in Kampala), and Mpigi District (rural area with 10 small health centres around a district hospital).
Strategies for change Didactic teaching about criteria based audit followed by practical work in own units, with ongoing support and follow up workshops.
Effects of change Improvements were seen in many standards of care. Staff showed universal enthusiasm for the training; many staff produced simple, cost-free improvements in their standard of care.
Lessons learnt Teaching of criteria based audit to those providing health care in developing countries can produce low cost improvements in the standards of care. Because the method is simple and can be used to provide improvements even without new funding, it has the potential to produce sustainable and cost effective changes in the standard of health care. Follow up is needed to prevent a waning of enthusiasm with time.
Problem: Maternal mortality in Uganda has remained unchanged at 500/100 000 over the past 10 years despite concerted efforts to improve the standard of maternity care. It is especially difficult to improve standards in rural areas, where there is little money for improvements. Furthermore, staff may be isolated, poorly paid, disempowered, lacking in morale, and have few skills to bring about change.
Design: Training programme to introduce criteria based audit into rural Uganda.
Setting: Makerere University Medical School, Mulago Hospital (large government teaching hospital in Kampala), and Mpigi District (rural area with 10 small health centres around a district hospital).
Strategies for change: Didactic teaching about criteria based audit followed by practical work in own units, with ongoing support and follow up workshops.
Effects of change: Improvements were seen in many standards of care. Staff showed universal enthusiasm for the training; many staff produced simple, cost-free improvements in their standard of care.
Lessons learnt: Teaching of criteria based audit to those providing health care in developing countries can produce low cost improvements in the standards of care. Because the method is simple and can be used to provide improvements even without new funding, it has the potential to produce sustainable and cost effective changes in the standard of health care. Follow up is needed to prevent a waning of enthusiasm with time.
Objective To assess the quality of care provided by Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs)—a cadre of community-based health workers—as part of a national scale-up of community case management of childhood illness (CCM) in Malawi.
Methods Trained research teams visited a random sample of HSAs (n = 131) trained in CCM and provided with initial essential drug stocks in six districts, and observed the provision of sick child care. Trained clinicians conducted ‘gold-standard’ reassessments of the child. Members of the survey team also interviewed caregivers and HSAs and inspected drug stocks and patient registers.
Findings HSAs provided correct treatment with antimalarials to 79% of the 241 children presenting with uncomplicated fever, with oral rehydration salts to 69% of the 93 children presenting with uncomplicated diarrhoea and with antibiotics to 52% of 58 children presenting with suspected pneumonia (cough with fast breathing). About one in five children (18%) presented with danger signs. HSAs correctly assessed 37% of children for four danger signs by conducting a physical exam, and correctly referred 55% of children with danger signs.
Conclusion Malawi’s CCM programme is a promising strategy for increasing coverage of sick child treatment, although there is much room for improvement, especially in the correct assessment and treatment of suspected pneumonia and the identification and referral of sick children with danger signs. However, HSAs provided sick child care at levels of quality similar to those provided in first-level health facilities in Malawi, and quality should improve if the Ministry of Health and partners act on the results of this assessment.
Child health; community case management; quality of care; community health worker; Malawi
A prescription audit was carried out among the outpatient attendees of 31 secondary level hospitals under Maharashtra Health Systems Development Project. Use of drugs and cost of treatment of diarrhoea were studied using the prescriptions for diarrhoea collected for the prescription audit. Average number of drugs prescribed per prescription for treatment of diarrhoea was 3.7. It was higher than average number of drugs per prescription in the Maharashtra Health Systems Development Project hospitals in general. About three fourths of the prescriptions contained oral rehydration salts. Furazolidone and metronidazole were prescribed in about half of the prescriptions. Cotrimoxazole was prescribed in about one fourth of prescriptions. About 60% of the prescriptions contained other drugs. The average cost of prescription for diarrhoea was Rs. 14 and increased with the number of drugs prescribed. Average cost of prescription was the highest for those written by general practitioners. Pathological tests were indicated only in case of 11%.
Cost of treatment; diarrhoea; furazolidone; metronidazole; oral rehydration salts; prescription audit; rational use; secondary level hospitals
In November 1977, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detecting rotavirus antigen was introduced in the laboratory of a rural treatment centre in Bangladesh. During the next 40 days rotavirus without other pathogens was found in the stools of 216 (45%) of 480 children under age 5 years who visited the centre with a gastrointestinal illness. 188 (87%) of these children were treated with oral rehydration alone, using the solution currently recommended by the World Health Organisation, while 28 (13%) also required some intravenous rehydration; there were no deaths. Oral rehydration treatment was judged successful in 205 (95%) of the rotavirus patients and was not associated with any serious side effects. Oral rehydration treatment, with this solution, has been used extensively and successfully in the treatment of enterotoxin-mediated diarrhoea and can also safely be used for treating rotavirus diarrhoea in infants and young children.
Diarrhoea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in rural communities in Africa, particularly in children under the age of five. This calls for the development of cost effective alternative strategies such as the use of herbal drugs in the treatment of diarrhoea in these communities. Expenses associated with the use of orthodox medicines have generated renewed interest and reliance on indigenous medicinal plants in the treatment and management of diarrhoeal infections in rural communities. The properties of many phenolic constituents of medicinal plants such as their ability to inhibit enteropooling and delay gastrointestinal transit are very useful in the control of diarrhoea, but problems such as scarcity of valuable medicinal plants, lack of standardization of methods of preparation, poor storage conditions and incertitude in some traditional health practitioners are issues that affect the efficacy and the practice of traditional medicine in rural African communities. This review appraises the current strategies used in the treatment of diarrhoea according to the Western orthodox and indigenous African health-care systems and points out major areas that could be targeted by health-promotion efforts as a means to improve management and alleviate suffering associated with diarrhoea in rural areas of the developing world. Community education and research with indigenous knowledge holders on ways to maximise the medicinal potentials in indigenous plants could improve diarrhoea management in African rural communities.
diarrhea; gastrointestinal transit; indigenous medicinal plants; health-promotion efforts; rural Africa
Zinc for the treatment of childhood diarrhoea was introduced in a pilot area in southern Mali to prepare for a cluster-randomized effectiveness study and to inform policies on how to best introduce and promote zinc at the community level. Dispersible zinc tablets in 14-tablet blister packs were provided through community health centres and drug kits managed by community health workers (CHWs) in two health zones in Bougouni district, Mali. Village meetings and individual counselling provided by CHWs and head nurses at health centres were the principal channels of communication. A combination of methods were employed to (a) detect problems in communication about the benefits of zinc and its mode of administration; (b) identify and resolve obstacles to implementation of zinc through existing health services; and (c) describe household-level constraints to the adoption of appropriate home-management practices for diarrhoea, including administration of both zinc and oral rehydration solution (ORS). Population-based household surveys with caretakers of children sick in the previous two weeks were carried out before and four months after the introduction of zinc supplementation. Household follow-up visits with children receiving zinc from the health centres and CHWs were conducted on day 3 and 14 after treatment for a subsample of children. A qualitative process evaluation also was conducted to investigate operational issues. Preliminary evidence from this study suggests that the introduction of zinc does not reduce the use of ORS and may reduce inappropriate antibiotic use for childhood diarrhoea. Financial access to treatments, management of concurrent diarrhoea and fever, and high use of unauthorized drug vendors were identified as factors affecting the effectiveness of the intervention in this setting. The introduction of zinc, if not appropriately integrated with other disease-control strategies, has the potential to decrease the appropriate presumptive treatment of childhood malaria in children with diarrhoea and fever in malaria-endemic areas.
Antibiotic use; Diarrhoea; Child health; Oral rehydration solutions; Oral rehydration therapy; Zinc; Zinc therapy; Mali
Use of community health workers (CHWs) has been implemented the same way in urban and rural areas despite differences in availability of health providers and sociodemographic characteristics. A household survey was conducted in rural and urban areas in eastern Uganda, and all children who were febrile in the previous two weeks were assessed for their symptoms, treatment received at home, and when and where they first went for treatment. Rural children were more likely to use CHWs than urban children. Urban children received outside treatment more promptly, and used herbs at home less. Symptoms and proportion of children being taken out for treatment were similar. Children from the poorest households used CHWs less and private providers more than the middle quintiles. Drug shops and private clinics should be included in the community case management to cater for the poorest in rural areas and persons in urban areas.
National malaria control programmes and international agencies are keen to scale-up the use of effective rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) for malaria. The high proportion of the Ugandan population seeking care at drug shops makes these outlets attractive as providers of malaria RDTs. However, there is no precedent for blood testing at drug shops and little is known about how such tests might be perceived and used. Understanding use of drug shops by communities in Uganda is essential to inform the design of interventions to introduce RDTs.
We conducted a qualitative study, with 10 community focus group discussions, and 18 in-depth interviews with drug shop attendants, health workers and district health officials. The formative study was carried out in Mukono district, central Uganda an area of high malaria endemicity from May-July 2009.
Drug shops were perceived by the community as important in treating malaria and there was awareness among most drug sellers and the community that not all febrile illnesses were malaria. The idea of introducing RDTs for malaria diagnosis in drug shops was attractive to most respondents. It was anticipated that RDTs would improve access to effective treatment of malaria, offset high costs associated with poor treatment, and avoid irrational drug use. However, communities did express fear that drug shops would overprice RDTs, raising the overall treatment cost for malaria. Other fears included poor adherence to the RDT result, reuse of RDTs leading to infections and fear that RDTs would be used to test for human immune deficiency virus (HIV). All drug shops visited had no record on patient data and referral of cases to health units was noted to be poor.
These results not only provide useful lessons for implementing the intervention study but have wide implications for scaling up malaria treatment in drug shops.
Diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection (ARI) are leading causes of mortality and morbidity in children under the age of five in developing countries. On the African continent, pneumonia (14%) and diarrhoea (17%) cause more child deaths than Malaria (16%), HIV/AIDS (4%), and measles (1%) combined. This paper set out to investigate the factors associated with the occurrence of diarrhoea and ARI incidence for children under five years in Uganda.
We used a nationally representative Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) (2006). Sampling was done in two stages. In the first stage 321 clusters were selected from among a list of clusters sampled in the 2005/06 Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS), 17 clusters from the 2002 Census frame from Karamoja, and 30 internally displaced camps (IDPs). In the second stage, households in each cluster were selected as per UNHS listing. In addition 20 households were randomly selected in each cluster.
Questionnaires were used during data collection. During the analysis, a maximum likelihood probit model was used in order to ascertain the probability of occurrence of diseases.
On average, 32% and 48% of children in the survey suffered from diarrhoea and ARI in the two weeks prior to the survey date. The occurrence was concentrated amongst children aged 0–24 months. Mother's education, especially at postsecondary level, reduced the probability of diarrhoea occurrence but had no effect on ARI occurrence. First hour initiation and exclusive breastfeeding reduced the probability occurrence of both diarrhoea and ARI. Other significant factors associated with the occurrence of both diseases include: regional and location differentials, wealth status, type of dwelling, mother's occupation, child age, and child nutritional status.
Policy interventions should target female education, eliminate location and regional disadvantages, and educate the population to adopt breastfeeding practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The government should also ensure proper dwelling places for the population that are associated with favourable health outcomes. Other proper feeding practices together with breastfeeding (after six months), should be made known to the masses so as to reduce the number of children that are malnourished and growth retarded.
Diarrhoea; acute respiratory infections; children; under-five years; Uganda
Diarrhoea was estimated to account for 18% of the estimated 10.6 million deaths of children aged less than five years annually in 2003. Two—Africa and South-East Asia—of the six regions of the World Health Organization accounted for approximately 40% and 31% of these deaths respectively, or almost three-quarters of the global annual deaths of children aged less than five years attributable to diarrhoea. Much of the effort to roll out low-osmolarity oral rehydration solution (ORS) and supplementation of zinc for the management of diarrhoea accordingly is being devoted to sub-Saharan Africa and to South and South-East Asia. A number of significant differences exist in diarrhoea-treatment behaviours and challenges of the public-health systems between Africa and Asia. The differences in rates of ORS use are the most common indicator of treatment of diarrhoea and vary dramatically by and within region and may significantly influence the roll-out strategy for zinc and low-osmolarity ORS. The prevalence of HIV/AIDS and the endemi-city of malaria also differ greatly between regions; both the diseases consume the attention and financial commitment of public-health programmes in regions where rates are high. This paper examined how these differences could affect the context for the introduction of zinc and low-osmolarity ORS at various levels, including the process of policy dialogue with local decision-makers, questions to be addressed in formative research, implementation approaches, and strategies for behaviour-change communication and training of health workers.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Child health; Diarrhoea; HIV; Infant health; Malaria; Oral rehydration therapy; Osmolar concentration; Review literature; Zinc
We sought to determine factors associated with appropriate diarrhea case management in Kenya. We conducted a cross-sectional survey of caregivers of children < 5 years of age with diarrhea in rural Asembo and urban Kibera. In Asembo, 61% of respondents provided oral rehydration therapy (ORT), 45% oral rehydration solution (ORS), and 64% continued feeding. In Kibera, 75% provided ORT, 43% ORS, and 46% continued feeding. Seeking care at a health facility, risk perception regarding death from diarrhea, and treating a child with oral medications were associated with ORT and ORS use. Availability of oral medication was negatively associated. A minority of caregivers reported that ORS is available in nearby shops. In Kenya, household case management of diarrhea remains inadequate for a substantial proportion of children. Health workers have a critical role in empowering caregivers regarding early treatment with ORT and continued feeding. Increasing community ORS availability is essential to improving diarrhea management.
We conducted a survey involving 1,604 households to determine community care-seeking patterns and 163 exit interviews to determine appropriateness of treatment of common childhood illnesses at private sector drug shops in two rural districts of Uganda. Of children sick within the last 2 weeks, 496 (53.1%) children first sought treatment in the private sector versus 154 (16.5%) children first sought treatment in a government health facility. Only 15 (10.3%) febrile children treated at drug shops received appropriate treatment for malaria. Five (15.6%) children with both cough and fast breathing received amoxicillin, although no children received treatment for 5–7 days. Similarly, only 8 (14.3%) children with diarrhea received oral rehydration salts, but none received zinc tablets. Management of common childhood illness at private sector drug shops in rural Uganda is largely inappropriate. There is urgent need to improve the standard of care at drug shops for common childhood illness through public–private partnerships.
Diarrhoea accounts for 20% of all paediatric deaths in India. Despite WHO recommendations and IAP (Indian Academy of Paediatrics) and Government of India treatment guidelines, few children suffering from acute diarrhoea in India receive low osmolarity oral rehydration solution (ORS) and zinc from health care providers. The aim of this study was to analyse practitioners' prescriptions for acute diarrhoea for adherence to treatment guidelines and further to determine the factors affecting prescribing for diarrhoea in Ujjain, India.
This cross-sectional study was conducted in pharmacies and major hospitals of Ujjain, India. We included prescriptions from all practitioners, including those from modern medicine, Ayurveda, Homeopathy as well as informal health-care providers (IHPs). The data collection instrument was designed to include all the possible medications that are given for an episode of acute diarrhoea to children up to 12 years of age. Pharmacy assistants and resident medical officers transferred the information regarding the current diarrhoeal episode and the treatment given from the prescriptions and inpatient case sheets, respectively, to the data collection instrument.
Information was collected from 843 diarrhoea prescriptions. We found only 6 prescriptions having the recommended treatment that is ORS along with Zinc, with no additional probiotics, antibiotics, racecadotril or antiemetics (except Domperidone for vomiting). ORS alone was prescribed in 58% of the prescriptions; while ORS with zinc was prescribed in 22% of prescriptions, however these also contained other drugs not included in the guidelines. Antibiotics were prescribed in 71% of prescriptions. Broad-spectrum antibiotics were prescribed and often in illogical fixed-dose combinations. One such illogical combination, ofloxacin with ornidazole, was the most frequent oral antibiotic prescribed (22% of antibiotics prescribed). Practitioners from alternate system of medicine and IHPs are significantly less likely (OR 0.13, 95% CI 0.04-0.46, P = 0.003) to prescribe ORS and zinc than pediatricians. Practitioners from 'free' hospitals are more likely to prescribe ORS and zinc (OR 4.94, 95% CI 2.45-9.96, P < 0.001) and less likely to prescribe antibiotics (OR 0.01, 95% CI 0.01-0-04, P < 0.001) compared to practitioners from 'charitable' hospitals. Accompanying symptoms like the presence of fever, pain, blood in the stool and vomiting significantly increased antibiotic prescribing.
This study demonstrated low adherence to standard treatment guidelines for management of acute diarrhoea in children under 12 years in Ujjain, India. Key public health concerns were the low use of zinc and the high use of antibiotics, found in prescriptions from both specialist paediatricians as well as practitioners from alternate systems of medicine and informal health-care providers. To improve case management of acute diarrhoea, continuing professional development programme targeting the practitioners of all systems of medicine is necessary.
Tonga, like many developing countries, suffers from a shortage of medical staff and a high morbidity and mortality from paediatric diarrhoeal disease. In 1980 a programme was started to train medical assistants and village administrators in the correct use of oral rehydration salt solution for rehydration. The effect on morbidity, mortality, and admission to hospital over the six years 1978-83 was assessed. After the introduction of the scheme the number of deaths due to diarrhoea fell considerably and the state of hydration in children admitted to hospital with diarrhoea greatly improved. It is recommended that similar programmes be adopted where clinical problems of diarrhoea with dehydration persist. Instruction in the use of oral rehydration fluid was most effectively given by non-medical staff to groups of mothers, rather than by paediatricians in their inevitably brief, although important, explanation given in hospital.
Roll Back Malaria Initiative encourages participation of private health providers in malaria control because mothers seek care for sick children from them. This study investigated Patent Medicine Sellers (PMS) management of presumptive malaria in children in order to identify how they can assist malaria control. A cross-sectional survey of 491 PMS in Kaduna, Nigeria, was done using interviews and observation of shop activities. Most (80%) customers bought drugs without prescriptions. Only 29.5% were given instructions about doses. Between 40–100% doses of recommended antimalarials were incorrect. Some (22%) PMS did not ask questions about illness for which they were consulted. Most children treated in shops received injections. PMS facilitate homecare but have deficiencies in knowledge and practice. Interventions must focus on training them to accurately determine doses, give advice about drug administration, use oral medication, and ask about illness. Training should be made a prerequisite for registering and reregistering shops.
Despite substantial progress, infectious diseases remain important causes of ill-health and premature deaths in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has experienced a >90% reduction in the incidence of deaths due to childhood diarrhoea over the last 25 years. Further reductions can be achieved through the introduction of effective vaccines against rotavirus and improvements in home hygiene, quality of drinking-water, and clinical case management, including appropriate use of oral rehydration solution and zinc. Pneumonia is now the leading cause of childhood deaths in Bangladesh, and the pneumonia-specific child mortality is largely unchanged over the last 25 years. Reductions in mortality due to pneumonia can be achieved through the introduction of protein conjugate vaccines against Haemophilus influenza type b and Streptococcus pneumoniae, improvements in case management, including efforts to prevent delays in providing appropriate treatment, and the wider use of zinc. Tuberculosis is responsible for an estimated 70,000 deaths each year in Bangladesh. Although services for directly-observed therapy have expanded markedly, improved case finding and involvement of private practitioners will be important to reduce the burden of disease.
Communicable diseases; Diarrhoea; Mortality; Pneumoniea; Tuberculosis; Vaccine Aciences; Bangladesh
This paper investigates knowledge of Community Health Insurance (CHI) and the perception of its relevance by key policy makers and health service managers in Uganda. Community Health Insurance schemes currently operate in the private-not-for-profit sector, in settings where church-based facilities function. They operate in a wider policy environment where user fees in the public sector have been abolished.
Semi-structured interviews were conducted during the second half of 2007 with District Health Officers (DHOs) and senior staff of the Ministry of Health (MOH). The qualitative data collected were analyzed using the framework method, facilitated by EZ-Text software.
There is poor knowledge and understanding of CHI activities by staff of the MOH headquarters and DHOs. However, a comparison of responses reveals a relatively high level of awareness of CHI principles among DHOs compared to that of MOH staff. All the DHOs in the districts with schemes had a good understanding of CHI principles compared to DHOs in districts without schemes. Out-of-pocket expenditure remains an important feature of health care financing in Uganda despite blanket abolition of user fees in government facilities.
CHI is perceived as a relevant policy option and potential source of funds for health care. It is also considered a means of raising the quality of health care in both public and private health units. To assess whether it is also feasible to introduce CHI in the public sector, there is an urgent need to investigate the willingness and readiness of stakeholders, in particular high level political authorities, to follow this new path. The current ambiguity and contradictions in the health financing policy of the Uganda MOH need to be addressed and clarified.
The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children's Fund recommend using a new oral rehydration solution (ORS) plus zinc supplementation for 10-14 days for the treatment of diarrhoea in children aged less than five years. The Social Marketing Plus for Diarrhoeal Disease Control: Point of Use Water Disinfection and Zinc Treatment (POUZN) project in Nepal was one of the first zinc-promotion projects to move beyond pilot efforts into a scaled-up programme with national-level reach. This study used data from a survey conducted in 26 districts in Nepal in 2008 to examine zinc-use behaviour, knowledge, and beliefs of caregivers of children aged less than six years, other diarrhoea-treatment practices, and recollection of project communication messages. The results of the survey indicated that, by six months following the onset of a zinc-promotion campaign, the majority (67.5%) of children (n=289), aged less than six years, with diarrhoea were treated with ORS, and 15.4% were treated with zinc. Over half (53.1%) of all caregivers (n=3,550) interviewed had heard about zinc products; most (97.1%) of those who had heard of zinc knew that zinc should be used for the treatment of diarrhoea. Zinc-related knowledge and behaviours were positively associated with recall of communication messages. Children whose caregivers recalled the mass-media message that zinc should be used for 10 days [odds ratio (OR)=2.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.85-2.19] and whose caregivers perceived that zinc is easy to obtain (OR=1.76, 95% CI 1.49-2.09) were more likely to be treated with zinc for 10 days, along with ORS. The findings demonstrated that mass media play an important role in increasing caregivers’ knowledge about zinc and encouraging trial and correct use. Future efforts should also focus on understanding the factors that motivate providers to continue recommending antibiotics and antidiarrhoeals instead of zinc. These findings are being used for informing the design and implementation of zinc programmes in other developing countries with a high prevalence of diarrhoea.
Child health; Diarrhoea; Diarrhoea, Infantile; Knowledge, attitudes, and practices; Oral rehydration solutions; Oral rehydration therapy; Zinc; Nepal