The effect of health education intervention on the home management of malaria among the caregivers of children aged under 5 years in Ogun State, Nigeria
1 Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care, College of Health Sciences, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine and Primary Care, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Nigeria
European Journal of Medical Research 2012, 17:11 doi:10.1186/2047-783X-17-11Published: 17 May 2012
Malaria is currently the most important cause of death and disability in children aged under 5 years in Africa. A health education interventional study of this nature is essential in primary control of an endemic communicable disease such as malaria. This study was therefore designed to determine the effect of health education on the home management of Malaria among the caregivers of children under 5 years old in Ogun State, Nigeria.
The study design was a quasi-experimental study carried out in Ijebu North Local Government Area of Ogun State. A multistage random sampling technique was used in choosing the required samples for this study and a semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect relevant information. The intervention consisted of a structured educational program based on a course content adapted from the national malaria control program. A total of 400 respondents were recruited into the study, with 200 each in both the experimental and control groups, and were followed up for a period of 3 months when the knowledge and uptake of insecticide treated net was reassessed.
There was no statistically significant differences observed between the experimental and control groups in terms of sociodemographic characteristics such as age (P = 0.99), marital status (P = 0.48), religion (P = 0.1), and income (P = 0.51). The majority in both the experimental (75.0%) and control (71.5%) groups use arthemisinin-based combination therapy as first line home treatment drugs pre intervention. Post health education intervention, the degree of change in the knowledge of referral signs and symptoms in the experimental group was 52.8% (P < 0.0001) while it was 0.2% in the control group (P = 0.93). Tepid sponging improved by 45.0%, paracetamol use by 55.3%, and the use of herbs and other drugs were not significantly influenced in the experimental (P = 0.65 and 0.99) and control group (P = 0.89 and 0.88), respectively. Furthermore, there was a 55.7% (P = 0.001) increase in the proportion of respondents using the correct dose of arthemisinin-based combination therapy in the home management of malaria and 23.9% (P < 0.001) in the proportion using it for the required time.
The study concludes that there is a shift in the home management of malaria with the use of current and effective antimalarial drugs. It also demonstrated the effect of health education on the promptness of appropriate actions taken among the respondents for early diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can be guaranteed if caregivers are knowledgeable on prompt actions to be taken in the home management of malaria.