Why Actions for Early Treatment of Febrile Illnesses in Children are Delayed by Caregivers
University of Ibadan, Nigeria
The study explored why actions for early treatment of febrile illnesses in children are delayed by caregivers of children less than five years in five Local Government Areas (LGAs) of southwestern Nigeria using four indicators: caregivers' perception of illness, notion of causation and seriousness, belief in efficacy of selected pathway, and the decision making process. Seven types of febrile illnesses (yellow fever, typhoid fever, ordinary fever/malaria, hot body fever, rain fever, cold fever, and headache fever) were identified and yellow fever was perceived as the most severe type (60.8%). Only 24.2% correctly identified an infected mosquito bite as the cause of ordinary fever/malaria. Use of leftover drugs at home (55.6%) was the main action taken and fathers were the main decisionmakers in all cases. Empowerment of women for improved knowledge on causation, severity, and importance of prompt action for a healthy outcome is recommended.