AbstractBackground: The world health organization (WHO) estimates that every 45 seconds an African child dies of malaria while several others lay ill. Also, studies have shown that home-based management of malaria could improve prompt access to antimalarial medications for African children. Objective: This study aimed at assessing the home based management practices among care givers of children below five years in Delta State. Methods: This study was a descriptive cross-sectional survey used to assess the home based management practices of malaria in children under age five. 459 consenting Caregivers of children under five (6 to 59 months) were purposively selected from different churches during Sundays and Wednesdays midweek services through balloting from two communities in Central and North Senatorial Districts of Delta State (Oghara and Obiaruku). Prior to the commencement of the study, the caregivers were thoroughly counselled on the objectives of the study, and a pretested structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used for administration in English, Urhobo and Ukwuani languages. Results: The study revealed that 86.93% respondents have good knowledge of malaria, and 60% commenced treatment within 24hrs. It also showed that 58.4% preferred anti-malarial combination therapies with arthemether-lumefantrine combination accounting for 34.0% drug options. Drug sources for home based malaria management were mainly from Pharmacy 40.5%, Drug sellers such as chemist 55.1% while information sources on choice of therapy and dosage were mainly from chemist 32.7%; health personnel 25.7%; neighbours 7.5% and self-based on previous experience 36.6%. Conclusion: The study revealed very good knowledge of malaria and good management practices as well as good treatment seeking behaviours amongst the caregivers.
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