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Mothers' beliefs and practices regarding prevention and management of diarrheal diseases

Mothers' beliefs and practices regarding prevention and management of diarrheal diseases

Indian Pediatrics 31(1): 55-57

In India, 48 mothers with at least one child aged less than 5 years living in two villages of Raipur Rani block in Haryana were interviewed to determine whether their beliefs and practices had changed after the diarrheal diseases control program was implemented. The researchers planned to use the findings to improve the program's promotional strategy. 23% believed that eating uncovered food, eating dirty or stale food, eating mud, and dirty feeding bottles were causes of diarrhea. Other perceived causes of diarrhea to be excessive heat (75%), specific foods (52%), over-eating (22.9%), excessive cold (14.5%), teething (14.5%), side effects of medication (6.2%), top milk (4.2%), and constipation (4.1%). Only 10.4% knew specific ways to prevent diarrhea. 85.5% approved of continuing breast feeding during diarrhea, while, before the program, most mothers withheld breast milk. Previously, 98.1% would restrict foods during diarrhea, now only 35% would do so. 50% believed less fluids than the normal amount should be given during diarrhea. 65% thought that the usual amount of food should be given. 68.8% would administer home remedies to treat diarrhea. 18.8% would begin oral rehydration therapy at home. If diarrhea is serious or home remedies do not work, 83.7% would seek a local medical practitioner and 16.3% would go to government health facilities. 54% had used oral rehydration solution in the past. 42.9% of them knew how to prepare it correctly and 70.5% knew how to administer it correctly. Recognized danger signs during diarrhea included lethargy (54.1%), at least eight watery stools/day (41.6%), frequent vomiting (27.1%), weakness (20.8%), dry and sunken eyes (16.6%), anorexia (12.5%), loose skin (6.2%), fever (4.2%), noisy breathing (2.1%), convulsions (2.1%), dehydration (2.1%), facial edema (2.1%), and sunken fontanelle (2%). These findings emphasize the need to focus on preventive measures by educating the public about causes and methods of diarrhea prevention while considering the existing culture.

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Accession: 043689839

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PMID: 7883322

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