- Healthcare-seeking strategies among displaced children in war-ridden northern Uganda: the case of malaria
- Annals of tropical medicine and parasitology
- Volume | Issue number
- 104 | 5
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
A field study was performed to examine suffering and treatment seeking from the perspective of children aged 8-16 years living in war-affected northern Uganda. Various techniques for collecting qualitative and quantitative data were used, including a semi-structured questionnaire about illness experiences and medicine use over a 1-month recall period. The 165 children who were interviewed were attending primary schools for displaced children and/or commuters' night shelters.
The children frequently attributed their common febrile ailments to malaria and used a variety of pharmaceuticals and herbal remedies, as self-medication, for their self-diagnosed malarial episodes. Misdiagnosis of febrile illnesses by the children (as well as by the local healthcare providers) and frequent misuse of medicines in the treatment of these illnesses appeared to be very common.
Improvement of the health conditions of these children requires a change of focus. Firstly, children above the age of 5 years who are not under adult care and who are often no longer welcome in the local hospital's paediatric ward need to be accepted at the outpatient clinics currently intended for adults. Secondly, the local diagnostic system needs to be improved, not only so that malaria can be reliably diagnosed but also so that alternative diagnoses can be confirmed or rejected, otherwise the current over-consumption of antimalarial drugs may simply be replaced with an over-consumption of antibiotics.
- go to publisher's site
If you believe that digital publication of certain material infringes any of your rights or (privacy) interests, please let the Library know, stating your reasons. In case of a legitimate complaint, the Library will make the material inaccessible and/or remove it from the website. Please Ask the Library, or send a letter to: Library of the University of Amsterdam, Secretariat, Singel 425, 1012 WP Amsterdam, The Netherlands. You will be contacted as soon as possible.