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Impact of education in the knowledge and practices of rural mothers and key family members on diarrhea and its treatment at home

Impact of education in the knowledge and practices of rural mothers and key family members on diarrhea and its treatment at home

Journal of Diarrhoeal Diseases Research 6(1): 15-20

Ready-made sachets of oral rehydration solution for the treatment of diarrhoea are constantly in short supply in developing countries. Thus, the effective use of home-made salt-sugar solution (SSS) by trained persons in the community is considered crucial. An education material for such a training was prepared based on the findings of beliefs and practices regarding diarrhoea in children, obtained from 116 randomly selected mothers or key family members in the Barain village of Chiraigaon block, Varanasi, india. In the present study, the material was used to train 66 mothers or key family members (key persons) in a joint family to identify diarrhoea, signs of dehydration, prepare SSS at home, use it to rehydrate their sick children and continue normal diet throughout the diarrhoea period. A control sample comprising 50 matched mothers or key persons were taken in the study who did not get the education. An evaluation was done 6 weeks after the educational sessions by interviewing the 116 persons (test, 66; control, 50), using the same pre-scored proforma blanks which were used during the initial survey. The mean pre-and post-education scores in the knowledge of mothers and key persons regarding various aspects of diarrhoea showed that there was a significant post-education gain in knowledge in both the groups in all aspects of diarrhoea, except the knowledge of the beneficial effect of continuing normal food during diarrhoea. An almost identical result was seen when both the groups were combined and assessed. Regarding various practices during diarrhoea, the data showed that the pre- and post-education practices regarding breast-feeding and food- and fluid-restriction did not vary significantly. People of the area knew form beforehand about the beneficial effect of breast-feeding and not restricting food and fluid during diarrhea. However, there was a significant rise in the practice of using home-made SSS both among the trained and untrained groups (t = 3.5, P < 0.01; t = 2.19, p < 0.05). Among the trained groups, the practice was adopted significantly more among mothers, but not among the key persons, such as grandmothers. The limitations and implications of the study are discussed. An inference is drawn with caution that this type of education may be a powerful tool to train mothers to identify acute dehydrating diarrhoea in their children and to treat them orally at home by preparing SSS.

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Accession: 007432600

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PMID: 3251936

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