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PROJECT TOPIC – MOTHERS PERCEPTION OF RECOVERY FROM CHILDHOOD FEBRILE CONDITIONS AFTER TREATMENT BY PMDS AT UGWUOGO-NIKE AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY.

MOTHERS PERCEPTION OF RECOVERY FROM CHILDHOOD FEBRILE CONDITIONS AFTER TREATMENT BY PMDS AT UGWUOGO-NIKE AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY

 

CHAPTER ONE

Introduction

Background to the Study

Fever is a very common symptom in childhood illnesses, and constitutes a common feature that can be easily recognized by caregivers on feeling the body. Timely intervention in childhood febrile conditions using well trained personnel could be an important factor in the relationship between survival and morbidity rates as well as the corresponding mortality rates, especially in the rural community. In the absence of required health care facilities and qualified personnel, which may be common in the rural areas, the tendency of concerned mothers is to utilize any available alternatives, including herbalists and patent medicine dealers (PMDs) to save the lives of their children in such dilemma. In this regard, a mother’s perception of recovery from childhood febrile conditions after treatment by PMDs, is a likely determinant of the willingness of other mothers who may be faced with similar challenges to further patronize the PMDs or vice versa.
PMDs can be described as persons without formal pharmacy training who sell orthodox pharmaceutical products on a retail basis for profit (Brieger, Osamar, Kabiru et al., 2004).Though they have been shown to have little formal health training, they are usually the first choice in health care and a recognized primary source of orthodox medication in Nigeria for both rural and urban population, especially the poor (Salako, Brieger, Afolabi et al., 2001). These drugs sold by the PMDs may be inappropriately prescribed, fake or expired. Thus, the incidence of ineffectiveness, drug over dose or under dose and its attendant negative consequences such as anaemia, encephalitis and cardiac failure among others may be quite high (Erhun, Babalola, and Erhun, 2001; Emeka, 2005).

The health seeking behaviour whereby the PMDs are patronized in the management of childhood febrile conditions therefore, may impact negatively or positively in timely intervention especially in rural areas where they are the main source of health services: on efforts to reduce mortality rates arising from febrile conditions (fever) among children, especially in the rural communities. The choice of patronizing the PMDs in the treatment of childhood febrile conditions (fever) have been shown to depend on a number of factors, including geographical accessibility, shorter waiting times, more reliable drug stocks, longer opening hours, greater confidentiality, more personable social interactions, ease of seeking advice, low cost and flexible pricing system and no separate fee charged for consultation (Brugh and Zwi, 2002).

This may explain what influences the increased patronage of PMDs by rural dwellers, especially where there is lack of quality and affordable health care services. Not withstanding the dangers of patronizing PMDs, it is envisaged that the reasons for the patronage of the PMDs services along with mothers’ perception of recovery from childhood febrile conditions after treatment by PMDs may be variate determinants in the decision making process to patronize the PMDs in the rural communities. Perception is the process by which we receive and interpret information from the world around us through our sense organs (Clifford, Gough et al 2006). Furthermore, available evidence has shown that perception can be affected by some factors, such as learning,
post experiences and emotion among others (Clifford, Gough et al 2006). Learning and experience are not only considered very important social factors which affect perception, but often times involve stereotyping. Stereotyping which is the tendency of generalizing the characteristics of a group of people (Oembed, 2007), simplifies the process of managing stimuli, and in most times, is inaccurate.

Inaccurate stereotyping may lead to bias and prejudice which may result in habitual actions despite the fact that the basis for such action is inaccurate and irrelevant (Oembed, 2007). In essence, perception also reflects our emotions, needs, expectations and learning which may derive from subjective judgment and inaccurate premises. All these could provide the basis to explain and understand how mothers perceive their children’s recovery from childhood febrile conditions after treatment by PMDs in rural communities. However, little has been mentioned and seen to have been studied of such an important variable as mothers’ perception of recovery from childhood febrile conditions after treatment by PMDs. This is considered important by the researcher as it has already been indicated that such perception may impact on future patronage of PMDs by affected mothers whose children suffer from childhood febrile conditions. This has prompted the researcher to carry out this study.

MOTHERS PERCEPTION OF RECOVERY FROM CHILDHOOD FEBRILE CONDITIONS AFTER TREATMENT BY PMDS AT UGWUOGO-NIKE AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY

 

Statement of Problem

Childhood febrile conditions remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children aged 0 – 5 years, in most rural Nigerian communities, and the first choice of intervention is treatment by Patent Medicine Dealers (Salako et al., 2001). This health seeking behaviour was also observed by the researcher during community health outreach programme at Ugwuogo-Nike – a rural community in Enugu East Local Government Area, where majority of the mothers interviewed seemed to rely on the patronage of PMDs in the treatment of childhood febrile conditions  In addition, the researcher observed that majority of children brought to the available health centre in that community came in with either persistent fever, re-occurrence of fever, or wrong choice of drugs bought from the PMDs.

In the course of literature search, the researcher observed that nothing has been mentioned about the mothers’ perception of recovery from childhood febrile conditions after treatment by the PMDs. This is an important gap, because mothers’ perception of recovery of children from febrile conditions after treatment by PMDs, could be a variate determinant of the extent of future or sustained patronage of the PMDs, especially in the rural communities. These observations, prompted the researcher to carry out the study on mothers perception of recovery from childhood febrile conditions after treatment by PMDs at Ugwuogo-Nike Autonomous Community.

 

MOTHERS PERCEPTION OF RECOVERY FROM CHILDHOOD FEBRILE CONDITIONS AFTER TREATMENT BY PMDS AT UGWUOGO-NIKE AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY

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