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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 127-131

Knowledge and perceptions of mothers of under-five children attending a tertiary care hospital about childhood diarrhea: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Physiology, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Rama Himalayan University, Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Paediatrics, Agartala Government Medical College, GB Pant Hospital, Agartala, West Tripura, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nilratan Majumder
Department of Paediatrics, Agartala Government Medical College, GB Pant Hospital, Agartala - 799 001, West Tripura
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_43_19

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CONTEXT: Diarrhea is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among young children. The incidence of diarrhea has remained almost unchanged over the years, highlighting the scope of prevention. A mother is the primary caregiver of a child. Her perceptions and knowledge of a disease determine her care-seeking behavior and health of the child by extension. AIM: The aim of the present study was to assess the level of knowledge of mothers about different aspects of childhood diarrhea. SETTINGS AND DESIGN: A hospital-based, descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out in the Department of Paediatrics, Agartala Government Medical College and G. B. Pant Hospital, Agartala, Tripura, over a period of 2 months. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The sample size for the study was 700. Convenience sampling technique was used to interview 700 mothers of under-five children, using a predesigned structured interview format. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS USED: Data were analyzed using SPSS version 13. Descriptive statistics and Chi-square test were used for analysis. P < 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. RESULTS: Majority of the mothers had a correct perception of the symptoms and causes of diarrhea. Most of them also knew about the importance of handwashing and had also heard about oral rehydration solution (ORS). However, their awareness about the warning signs indicating severe dehydration and the role of ORS in diarrhea was very poor. Educational level was found to be significantly associated with the knowledge. CONCLUSIONS: To bring down the mortality rate, mothers have to be made aware of the warning signs and the role of ORS because adequate knowledge is a critical component of the decision-making process.

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