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Seeking Care for Pediatric Diarrheal Illness from Traditional Healers in Bamako, Mali

Farag, T. H., Kotloff, K. L., Levine, M. M., Onwuchekwa, U., van Eijk, Anna ORCID:, Doh, S. and Sow, S. O. (2013) 'Seeking Care for Pediatric Diarrheal Illness from Traditional Healers in Bamako, Mali'. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, Vol 89, Issue S1, pp. 21-28.

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Diarrhea is a leading cause of child mortality worldwide. Early recognition of symptoms and referral to medical treatment are essential. In 2007, we conducted a Healthcare Utilization and Attitudes Survey (HUAS) of 1,000 children randomly selected from a population census to define care-seeking patterns for diarrheal disease in Bamako, Mali, in preparation for the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS). We found that 57% of caretakers sought care for their child's diarrheal illness from traditional healers, and 27% of caretakers sought care from the government health center (GHC). Weighted logistic regression showed that seeking care from a traditional healer was associated with more severe reported diarrheal disease, like decreased urination (odds ratio [OR] = 3.35, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.19–9.41) and mucus or pus in stool (OR = 4.42, 95% CI = 1.35–14.51), along with other indicators of perceived susceptibility. A locally designed traditional healer referral system was, therefore, created that emphasized more severe disease. This system may serve as a model for health systems in West Africa.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
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WS Pediatrics > Diseases of Children and Adolescents > By System > WS 312 Diarrheal disorders
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Lynn Roberts-Maloney
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2014 11:38
Last Modified: 16 Aug 2019 13:40


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