Strategies Adopted by Mothers in Coping with Febrile Illnesses in Under-Five-Year-Old Children in Osun State
The study examined the strategies adopted by mothers in coping with febrile illnesses of their under-five-year-old children and assessed the level of maternal knowledge of febrile illnesses and drugs used with a view to improving home based management of those children. A purposive selection was used to select 150 mothers from the seven randomly selected health institutions in Osun State (Urban Comprehensive Health Centre, Eleyele, lfe Hospital Unit, OAUTHC, llesa Road, Comprehensive Health Centre, Sabo, and State General Hospital, Okeogbo in Ile-Ife, and Wesley Guild Hospital OAUTHC, Ijofi-Ilesa, State General Hospital, Ereja and Multi-purpose Unit, OAUTHC in Ilesa). An interview guided questionnaire was used in collecting data. The level of knowledge of the respondents on febrile illnesses was based on a weighted grading of low (0-49.9%), fair (50-79.9%) and high (80-100%). The data were analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the study showed that the coping strategies identified were self-medication practice (37%), spiritual support (28%), support from neighbours and parents (25%) and loans (7%). First lines of action were home care (90%) and buying drugs from the chemists (60%). A high level of knowledge about febrile illnesses was found in 51% of mothers, but the same level of knowledge for the dosage of drugs used in the management of febrile illnesses was found in 40% of mothers, for accurate dose for ampicillin and other antibiotics, 37% for chloroquine, 30% for analgesics, 9% for sulfadoxine pyrimethamine and 1% for coartem. There was a positive and significant correlation between mother's age and knowledge of febrile illnesses (r = 0.637, p < 0.01). The educational status of mothers was significantly associated with their first line of action (X2 = 39.47,p < 0.01). The study concluded that mothers adopted active coping strategies, which could be helpful in dealing with stressful situations.