Ethiopia, even though there are great achievements in decreasing infant and child
mortality from year 2000 to 2011, still children are suffering from diarrheal
diseases, respiratory problems and malnutrition. This study was done to
determine the prevalence of illnesses among under-five children and mothers’/caregivers’
care seeking behavior for childhood illnesses in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.
Methods: A community based cross-sectional study was done on a sample of 415
mothers/caregivers from April 15 to May 15, 2011. Three kebeles (the smallest
administrative unit) from Bahir Dar were selected randomly. The sample was proportionally distributed to the selected kebeles according to their population
size. To be eligible to participate in the study, mothers had to live in
households that had children under five years of age. These households were
selected by systematic sampling method. Mothers/caregivers were interviewed
in their homes using a structured questionnaire that had been pre-tested. The
collected data were analyzed using a computer program of SPSS version 20.0. Result
and Conclusions: The overall two weeks prevalence of childhood illness that had
one or more symptoms of disease was 110 (26.5%). The prevalence of the most
commonly reported symptoms were diarrhea, fever, acute respiratory infection
(ARI) and others 11.3%, 10%, 6.3% and 4.6% among children of under five years respectively. Eighty (72.7%) of mothers sought treatment
from health care facilities for sick children. The main reasons for not
seeking treatment from health care facilities as reported by mothers/caregivers
were, 53.3% Illness was not serious, 26.7% lack of money and 13.3% did not see
any benefit for such childhood illness. Hence there is a need for designing a
tailored health message for mother/ caregivers about preventable childhood
illness and treatment seeking by the local health extension workers and program
Cite this paper
Awoke, W. (2013) Prevalence of childhood illness and mothers’/caregivers’ care seeking behavior in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia: A descriptive community based cross sectional study. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine
, 155-159. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.32020
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