Danger Signs of Childhood Pneumonia: Caregiver Awareness and Care Seeking Behavior in a Developing Country

Int J Pediatr. 2015;2015:167261. doi: 10.1155/2015/167261. Epub 2015 Oct 21.

Abstract

Background. Efforts to reduce child mortality especially in Africa must as a necessity aim to decrease mortality due to pneumonia. To achieve this, preventive strategies such as expanding vaccination coverage are key. However once a child develops pneumonia prompt treatment which is essential to survival is dependent on mothers and caregiver recognition of the symptoms and danger signs of pneumonia. Methods. This community based cross-sectional study enrolled four hundred and sixty-six caregivers in Enugu state. It aimed to determine knowledge of caregivers about danger signs of pneumonia and the sociodemographic factors that influence knowledge and care seeking behaviour of caregivers. Results. There is poor knowledge of the aetiology and danger signs of pneumonia among caregivers. Higher maternal educational attainment and residence in semiurban area were significantly associated with knowledge of aetiology, danger signs, and vaccination of their children against pneumonia. Fast breathing and difficulty in breathing were the commonest known and experienced WHO recognized danger signs while fever was the commonest perceived danger sign among caregivers. Conclusion. Knowledge of danger signs and health seeking behaviour among caregivers is inadequate. There is need for intensified public and hospital based interventions targeted at mothers to improve their knowledge about pneumonia.