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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 198-205

Caregivers' perception and determinants of delayed presentation of children with severe malaria in an emergency room in Benin City, Nigeria

1 Department of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, and School of Medicine, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Moses Temidayo Abiodun
Department of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/npmj.npmj_80_22

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Introduction: Severe malaria is a leading cause of mortality due to late presentation to health facilities. Hence, there is a need to identify and mitigate factors promoting delayed presentation with severe malaria. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate determinants of delayed presentation of children with severe malaria in a tertiary referral hospital. Methods: This study adopted a descriptive, cross-sectional design. The participants were children with a diagnosis of severe malaria, based on WHO diagnostic criteria. Delayed presentation was defined as presentation at the referral centre at >3 days of illness. Inferential analyses were done to identify factors associated with delayed presentation. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: A total of 126 children with severe malaria participated in the study; their mean (standard deviation) age was 4.2 (5.3) years. The prevalence of delayed presentation in this study is 37.3%. Socio-economic class (P = 0.003); marital status (P = 0.015) and the number of health facilities visited before admission in the referral centre (P = 0.008) were significantly associated with delayed presentation. Children from upper socio-economic class were thrice more likely to present late, compared to those from lower social class (odds ratio [OR] = 3.728, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.694–8.208; P = 0.001). Likewise, the Yorubas were more delayed than the Binis (OR = 0.408, 95% CI: 0.180–0.928; P = 0.033). There was a negative correlation between caregivers' perception of treatment (r = −0.113, P = 0.21) of convulsion in severe malaria and timing of presentation. Conclusions: Delayed presentation is common with multifactorial determinants in the setting. Health education of caregivers on the consequences of delayed presentation in severe malaria is desirable.

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