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Malaria Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 954975, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/954975
Clinical Study

Health Care Seeking Behavior among Caregivers of Sick Children Who Had Cerebral Malaria in Northwestern Nigeria

1Department of Paediatrics, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria 810006, Nigeria
2Child Development Centre, Cannock Chase Hospital, Staffordshire, Cannock, UK

Received 26 October 2011; Revised 23 December 2011; Accepted 4 January 2012

Academic Editor: Polrat Wilairatana

Copyright © 2012 Edwin E. Eseigbe et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cerebral malaria is a significant cause of childhood morbidity in our region. The challenges of effective management include time and quality of treatment. The study appraised the health care seeking behavior of caregivers of sick children who developed cerebral malaria, in Zaria, northwestern Nigeria. Caregivers indentified were parents 29 (87.9%) and grandparents 4 (12.1%). Most of them were in the upper social classes. Health care options utilized before presentation at our facility were formal health facility 24 (72.7%), patent medicine seller 12 (36.4%), home treatment 10 (30.3%), and herbal concoction 6 (18.2%) with majority 24 (72.7%) using more than one option. Antimalarial therapy was instituted in 25 (75.6%) of the cases. Mortality was significantly associated with the use of herbal concoction, treatment at a formal health facility and patent medicine seller, multiple convulsions, age less than 5 years, and noninstitution of antimalarial therapy before presentation. The study showed use of inappropriate health care options by caregivers and highlighted the need to pursue an awareness drive among caregivers on the use of health care options.