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Care-seeking behaviour and treatment practices for malaria in children under 5 years in Mozambique: a secondary analysis of 2011 DHS and 2015 IMASIDA datasets
Authors: Annette Cassy, Abuchahama Saifodine, Baltazar Candrinho, Maria do Rosário Martins, Saraiva da Cunha, Filomena Martins Pereira, and Eduardo Samo Gudo
Source: Malaria Journal, 18(1): 1-10; DOI: 10.1186/s12936-019-2751-9
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: APR 2019
Abstract: Background In Mozambique, the prevalence of malaria in children under 5 years of age is among the highest in the world, but limited data exist on determinants of care-seeking behaviour for malaria. This study aimed at determining the trends and factors associated with care-seeking behaviour for fever among children under 5 years of age and to assess the treatment practices for malaria. Methods Secondary data analysis of two cross-sectional studies. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize socio-economic and demographic characteristics of participants, using data from the 2011 Demographic and Health Survey and 2015 Indicators of Immunization, Malaria and HIV/AIDS Survey. Complex sampling logistic regression model was used to identify factors associated with care-seeking behaviour, with estimated adjusted odds ratio and respective 95% confidence intervals, only for 2015 IMASIDA data. Results A total of 10,452 and 5168 children under 5 years of age were enrolled in the 2011 DHS and 2015 IMASIDA, respectively. Care-seeking for fever in public and private sectors remained stable during this period (62.6%; 835/1432 in 2011 and 63.7%; 974/1529 in 2015). The main place where care was sought in both surveys was public hospitals (86.2%; 773/897 in 2011 and 86.7%; 844/974 in 2015). Prescription of anti-malarial drugs increased from 42.9% (385/897) in 2011 to 53.8% (524/974) in 2015. Artemether–lumefantrine was the most used anti-malarial drug for febrile children in both surveys and its use increased from 59.0% (219/373) in 2011 to 89.3% (457/512) in 2015. Data from 2015 elucidated that care-seeking was more common in children whose mothers had a secondary level of education (AOR?=?2.27 [95% CI 1.15–4.49]) and among those in poorer quintile (AOR?=?1.46 [95% CI 0.83–1.90]). Mothers with higher education level (AOR?=?0.16 [95% CI 0.34–0.78]) were less likely to seek out care. People from Manica (AOR?=?2.49 [1.03–6.01]), Sofala ([AOR?=?2.91 [1.03–8.24]), Inhambane (AOR?=?3.95 [1.25–12.45]), Gaza (AOR?=?3.25 [1.22–8.65]) and Maputo Province (AOR?=?2.65 [1.10–6.41]) were more likely to seek care than people from Maputo City. Conclusion Data from this study showed that care-seeking in Mozambique remained suboptimal. Interventions to raise the awareness for early care-seeking during episodes of fever should be urgently reinforced and intensified.