Sociodemographic Factors Influencing the Uptake of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits for the Management of Malaria among Mothers of Under Five in a Typical Nigerian Population

U W Dozie, C.I C Ebirim, U O Nwobi, U M Chukwuocha, S. N. O Ibe, I. N. S Dozie


 Introduction: Globally, malaria constitutes a crucial public health challenge since it is the third major cause of death among children under the age of 5. Prompt and effectual malaria diagnosis is the major approach to the control and management of the disease. Objectives: The study investigated sociodemographic factors that influence the uptake of rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for malaria management among mothers of under 5. Method of Study: A descriptive cross-sectional design was used in the study in which 420 mothers of under 5 were randomly selected from five electoral wards in Owerri West L.G.A of Imo state. Structured questionnaire was used in data collection. Data were analyzed with SPSS statistical package (Version 21) in which Chi-square at 5% probability level was used to ascertain the association between sociodemographic and uptake of rapid diagnostic test (RDT). Results: Results showed that the mothers 161 (38%) were mostly in 30–49 years age bracket, were married (%). More than one-quarter of them was secondary school certificate holders who were civil servants who earn average monthly income of 10,000–17,000₦ 183 (44%). Less than half 180 (42.9%) of the mothers do test their child with RDT, particularly when their child has fever 103 (24.5%). Moreover, larger proportions 161 (89%) of this group know how to carry out RDT. Most of them indicated positive result of RDT to be double line on the strip 155 (86.1%). More than three-quarter of them 168 (93.3%) still use RDT even when they are aware that it involved finger prick of blood from the child. Majority of them 252 (60%) indicated that their custom/religion allows blood test when the child is ill. It was shown that the uptake of mRDT was more pronounced among mothers within the age group of 18–29 years (67.5%) (χ2 = 50.12; P < 0.001) who were single (75%) (χ2 = 74.77; P < 0.001). Uptake of mRDT was also highest (71.4%) among respondents who had tertiary education (χ2 = 91.35, P < 0.001) and are civil servants (57.1%) (χ2 = 65.80; P < 0.001) who earn average monthly income of 18,000 (68.8%) (χ2 = 34.65; P < 0.001). Within the communities, uptake of mRDT was highest among mothers from Obinze compared to other communities with significant association (χ2 = 22.17; P < 0.001). Conclusion: Uptake will, however, be enhanced if the cost of RDT-based management is reduced. Enhancing the health education through media, conferences, seminars, and workshops using local dialects will also help in raising the knowledge and understanding of less or non-educated mothers on the benefits of RDT.

Keywords: Malaria, Management, rapid diagnostic test, sociodemographic factors, uptake

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