Background: A community-based malaria intervention was introduced through fixed and mobile clinics in rural Myanmar. This study attempted to identify treatment-seeking behaviour of caregivers for children under five and the determinants of appropriate treatment-seeking behaviour in mobile clinic villages (MV) and non-mobile clinic villages (NMV) in malaria-endemic rural areas in Myanmar.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 23 MV and 25 NMV in Ingapu Township, Myanmar. Appropriate treatment-seeking behaviour was operationally defined as seeking treatment from trained personnel or at a health facility within 24 hours after the onset of fever. Multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify the determinants of appropriate treatment-seeking behaviour.
Results: Among the 597 participants in both types of villages, 166 (35.3%) caregivers sought appropriate treatment. No significant difference in appropriate treatment-seeking behaviour was found between the two types of villages (adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 0.80; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.51-1.24). Determinants of behaviour include proximity to public health facilities (AOR, 5.86; 95% CI, 3.43-10.02), knowledge of malaria (AOR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.14-3.17), malaria prevention behaviour (AOR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.13-2.76), treatment at home (AOR, 0.26; 95% CI, 0.15-0.45), and treatment and transportation costs (AOR, 0.52; 95% CI, 0.33-0.83).
Conclusions: Caregivers' treatment-seeking behaviour was poor for fever cases among children under age five, and did not differ significantly between MV and NMV. It is necessary to educate caregivers, particularly for early treatment seeking and appropriate use of health care options for fever, and catering to their medical needs. These findings can help promote awareness and prevention, and improve the quality of interventions at the community level.