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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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