Maternal Recognition and Health Care-Seeking Behavior for Acute Respiratory Infection in Children in a Rural Ecuadorian County

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Acute respiratory infection, Health behavior, Rural, Ecuador

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Objectives: To identify the factors which determine timely health care-seeking behaviors for childhood ARIs. Methods: A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to a non-random purposive sample of 91 female caregivers (age 18–57 years), and was analyzed using SPSS. In addition, six focus group discussions with female caregivers and 25 in-depth interviews with members from the health care setting were conducted. Results: The primary obstacles reported for timely health care-seeking among survey respondents were money for medicines (n = 29, 32%), transportation fares (n = 19, 21%), and restrictive hours of the health centers (n = 13, 14%). The median household salary reported was $100 per month. There was an overall lack of recognition of the biomedical signs and symptoms of serious lower respiratory infections independent of socioeconomic status. Conclusions: Based on the study findings, the following recommendations are offered: (1) public health campaigns need to better address appropriate home health care management of childhood health and illness to improve maternal health-seeking behavior for ARIs; (2) provincial health authorities need to adhere to regular hours of operation, expand clinic hours and increase staff; (3) health posts should establish better policies for disbursement of antibiotics and ensure that patients follow prescribed regimens; and (4) through partnerships with economic development organizations and the private sector, there will be increased employment opportunities.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Maternal and Child Health, v. 12, issue 3, p. 287-297