Acute respiratory infections in rural samia-bugwe county Tororo District, Uganda: knowledge, attitudes and practices of mothers, and mortality
A study of 300 mothers who had children aged below five years was carr ied out to descri be their KAP concerning ARI, their heal th seeking behaviour and also describe some risk factors and estimate ARI mortality among young children. The causes of pneumonia and measles were not known by 66% and 51% of the mothers respectively. Mothers with a better education were more likely to know the causes of measles. While 30% of the mothers had good knowledge of symptoms of pneumonia, only 19% had good knowledge of symptoms which indicate its severity. As for measles, 70% of the mothers had good knowledge of its symptoms. Though most mothers considered measles to be a serious disease, only 46% knew vaccination as a preventive measure against it. Breastfeeding, giving of fluids and food during ARI illness were frequently practised in this community. Mothers usually gave drugs to their children who had cough or common cold. The better educated mothers were more likely than others to use cough medicines to treat their childrens' coughs. When consultation was sought for a sick child, health centres/clinics were preferred to drug shops and hospitals. Through verbal autopsy, it was found that 63% of the child deaths below five years of age, In this area, were probably due to pneumonia. Indoor air pollution due to a high proportion of poorly ventilated cooking places and highly prevalent use of wood fuel for cooking is a possible risk factor for ARI in this are~. ARI intervention should be planned and implemented In Samia Bugwe.