Volume 13 Supplement 1

Challenges in malaria research: Core science and innovation

Open Access

A qualitative study exploring health seeking behaviour and cultural beliefs of mothers in paediatric malaria treatment decision-making process in Ile-Ife, South-West Nigeria

  • Ibrahim S Bello1 and
  • Satwinder Rehal1
Malaria Journal201413(Suppl 1):P9

https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-13-S1-P9

Published: 22 September 2014

Background

Reducing human infectivity of malaria parasite through early and effective treatment amongst under-five children is a major concern of WHO & MDGs 4 & 6. Getting mothers to bring their children to the nearest facility early for malaria treatment remains a major challenge.

Aim

To explore health seeking behaviours and cultural attitudes of mothers of under five children suffering from malaria in Ile Ife using moderate interviews and providing recommendation to the Ministry of Health of Osun State to serve as knowledge basis for developing appropriate intervention.

Materials and methods

The study employs a qualitative research with the aid of purposive sampling, 16 women who brought their under five children to hospital for malaria treatment were recruited. A moderate interview was used to explore the experiences of the mothers and the data generated was subjected to thematic content analysis.

Results

Five themes emerged from the study. All respondents recognized fever as the major feature of malaria but their knowledge of what causes it, symptoms and sign was poor. They all perceived malaria as a simple disease for which mothers should be comfortable to apply home based remedies such as herbal concoctions. Religious beliefs did not prevent mothers from seeking hospital care but some are aware of mothers that rely on Holy water and prayer to treat malaria. Poverty is seen as an impediment to seeking treatment mostly by women in a polygamous relationship. Fear of use of injection to treat malaria in hospital coupled with perceived poor attitude of hospital staff was considered by some mothers.

Conclusion

The study observed that mothers had poor knowledge of malaria; cultural beliefs in home remedies and poverty are issues that affect malaria outcome. Health education of the malaria life cycle, treatment and prevention is necessary for mothers as well as empowerment of women.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool

Copyright

© Bello and Rehal; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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