Household Community Management of the Sick Child in the Northern Part of Togo Before Implementation of the Community Component of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness Strategy
Agbere A D*, Koffi S*, Chiabi A**, Kouassi E K ***, Assih D****
*Paediatric Unit CHU-Tokoin, Lome, Togo, **Yaounde Gynaecology-Obstetric and Paediatric Hospital, Yaounde, Cameroon, ***Division of Statistics, Studies and Research, Ministry of Health, Lome, Togo, ****Military Hospital, Lome, Togo
Abstract

Aim: To assess three key family practices concerning "appropriate home care", before implementation of community "Integrated Management of Childhood Illness" (C- IMCI) strategy in five Togolese health districts.

Methods: Done from the 29th March to 8th April 2004, simultaneously in these districts, our cross-sectional study comprised randomly 983 households, 506 caretakers and 733 under-five children. We studied mainly socio-demographic features and some family practices regarding home illness management through Epi-info and SPSS soft wares.

Results: 56.7% of the household heads were farmers, 53.6% illiterates, 47.6% aged between 30 and 49 years. A household comprised averagely seven people. The radio, gong and neighbours were the main ways of health information. In the previous two weeks, 20.6% of children suffered from fever (47% of sick children) and diarrhoea (19.9%). Caretakers managed them through self-treatment (50.3%) and health facility (35.8%). WHO/UNICEF/ORS (oral rehydration salts) (43.9%) and/or antibiotics (36.6%) were used for diarrhoea, and antimalarials (41.8%) and/or antibiotics (31.9%) for fever. 42.6% of caretakers consulted a health facility the day following onset of illness, 33.3% within one week. Only 12.3% of children had been fed more than usual with 47.2% by traditional force-feeding, and 39.7% had been given more appropriate liquids than usual. The most frequent accidents were falls (48.1%) and knife cuts (15.4%), and managed at home (47.1%), in the health facility (33.3%) and by traditional healers (19.6%).

Conclusion: Some milestones facing "appropriate home care", now available, will help follow up and evaluation of implementation of C-IMCI in the involved area.
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