SSA Research ERIC OWUSU 67 PAGES (15611 WORDS) Dissertation
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This study was undertaken in the Wa District of the Upper West region o f Ghana during

the period o f 5th April to 15th May 1997 in six (6) sub-districts.

The study was to answer the following question:

“ What level o f knowledge do mothers in the Wa District have about diarrhoea, it’s

causes, effects, appropriate home treatment and prevention, and what they practice during

episodes o f diarrhoea among young children”

There have been concerns expressed at the district and regional level sectors o f the

Ministry o f Health about the high prevalence and incidence o f diarrhoeal diseases

particularly among young children in the Wa district with high fatality rates despite efforts

put in by the District Health Management Team to intensify health education activities in

the district.

Though there had been previous attempt to carry out a study to answer this question, the

study was linked up to a nutritional survey carried out by the Nutrition Unit o f the

Regional Health Administration and only concentrated on a few mothers who attended the

nutrition rehabilitation center in the region

This study is therefore intended to provide further information on what mothers in the

district know and practice about diarrhoeal diseases management for young children, with

the view o f using the findings o f the study to assist the District Health Administration and

other health -related agencies in the district and the region in programming appropriate

health education and promotion strategies to reduce diarrhoeal- related diseases and

improve promote the general health o f young children in the district.

The study was conducted with the broad objective o f finding out what women in the Wa

district know about childhood diarrhoeal diseases and what they practice to manage the

disease during episodes. The specific objectives of the study are:

1) To determine the level of information that mothers in the study area have

about diarrhoeal diseases.

2) To identify any gap between what the mothers know and what they are

expected to know about diarrhoeal diseases in young children.

3) To find out the management practices that mothers adopt during diarrhoea

episodes in young children.

4) To recommend appropriate health intervention strategies and programmes for

implementation to reduce the high prevalence o f diarrhoeal diseases among

young children in the district.

The sample size for the study was 210 mothers o f the Wa district who have children up to

two (2) years. A household survey was conducted to interview mothers who were

selected by means o f simple random sampling technique. A structured questionnaire was

used as data collection tool to obtain information from the mothers on diarrhoeal diseases.

The main variables o f study were:

1). Knowledge about diarrhoeal diseases, causes, effects, treatment and


2). Diarrhoea Management practices concerning treatment, feeding, breastfeeding

and prevention.

3). Sources of information on childhood diarrhoeal diseases.

The major findings of the study were as follows:

1) Mothers in the study area could adequately describe childhood diarrhoea but

have limited knowledge about the causes, effects and dangers of

diarrhoeal diseases on the child.

2) A significant proportion o f mothers in the study area strongly believe that

supernatural forces such as witches and evil spirits could cause childhood


3) More than half o f the mothers treat the child with diarrhoea at home. Among

the various home treatment practices they adopt include enema

administration, administration of various kinds of drugs obtained from the

local market and the administration o f herbal concoctions.

4) A greater number o f mothers are aware o f the value o f continued feeding and breastfeeding

the child and adopt the practice during diarrhoeal episode.

5) Though many mothers have ever heard of Oral Rehydration Salt (sachets) as

an effective treatment o f childhood diarrhoea, quite a number o f the mothers have

never used it to treat their children.

Based on the findings o f the study, the following recommendations are suggested for


1) Health Education and Promotion activities on diarrhoeal diseases in the study area

should emphasize on teaching mothers about the “germ theory” o f disease causation,

effects, dangers as well as appropriate home management practices and prevention o f

diarrhoeal diseases.

2) The value of the use o f O.R.S should be emphasized for mothers to appreciate it’s use

for treating their children with diarrhoea at home even before taking the child to a

health facility.

3) Outreach Health services should be extended to those communities or villages in the

study area which are far away from the existing health facilities, and during each

outreach session, a brief teaching on childhood diarrhoea should be given to mothers

by the health team.

4) Misconceptions and beliefs about diarrhoeal diseases that are strongly held by mothers

in the study area should be disabused with correct and adequate information about

diarrhoeal diseases.

5) O.R.T comers or centres should be established in all health centres in the district

which could be used as training or teaching centres for mothers who use the health

facilities. Where possible some of the mothers could be used as resource persons in

O.R.T training for mothers.

6) Health personnel particularly, Community and Public Health Nurses who do home

visiting, should use the opportunity to teach mothers in their own homes about

diarrhoea and it’s appropriate home management.

7) Mothers’ Clubs should be formed in all communities/villages so that mothers could

share together information and experiences on diarrhoea management practices and

other child survival activities.

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SSA, R (2021). A STUDY ON THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES OF CHILDHOOD DIARRHOEAL DISEASES MANAGEMENT AMONG MOTHERS IN THE WA DISTRICT, UPPER WEST REGION. GHANA. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 10, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/a-study-on-the-knowledge-and-practices-of-childhood-diarrhoeal-diseases-management-among-mothers-in-the-wa-district-upper-west-region-ghana

MLA 8th

Research, SSA. "A STUDY ON THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES OF CHILDHOOD DIARRHOEAL DISEASES MANAGEMENT AMONG MOTHERS IN THE WA DISTRICT, UPPER WEST REGION. GHANA" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 01 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/a-study-on-the-knowledge-and-practices-of-childhood-diarrhoeal-diseases-management-among-mothers-in-the-wa-district-upper-west-region-ghana . Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.


Research, SSA. "A STUDY ON THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES OF CHILDHOOD DIARRHOEAL DISEASES MANAGEMENT AMONG MOTHERS IN THE WA DISTRICT, UPPER WEST REGION. GHANA". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 01 Apr. 2021. Web. 10 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/a-study-on-the-knowledge-and-practices-of-childhood-diarrhoeal-diseases-management-among-mothers-in-the-wa-district-upper-west-region-ghana >.


Research, SSA. "A STUDY ON THE KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICES OF CHILDHOOD DIARRHOEAL DISEASES MANAGEMENT AMONG MOTHERS IN THE WA DISTRICT, UPPER WEST REGION. GHANA" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 10, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/a-study-on-the-knowledge-and-practices-of-childhood-diarrhoeal-diseases-management-among-mothers-in-the-wa-district-upper-west-region-ghana