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Practices in Preventing Pneumonia by Caregivers of Under-5 Children Attended at a Referral Hospital in Zimbabwe

Mupfawa Namataishe, Rukweza Judith


Pneumonia is the foremost cause of mortality in children under the age of 5, with most deaths occurring in the sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. In Zimbabwe pneumonia continues to be one of the chief causes for admissions of pediatric patients, with majority presenting with severe form. Since access to health facilities is limited to some areas in many developing countries such as Zimbabwe, the caregivers’ practices in pneumonia prevention can help reduce the occurrence of pneumonia in children who are under five years. The aim of the study is to determine the practices in pneumonia prevention by caregivers as it is an important tool in reducing morbidity and mortality. This study utilized a descriptive cross sectional design. The target population was caregivers of children under five who visited the pediatric casualty department at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. Simple random sampling was used in the study. A structured questionnaire with two sections of demographic characteristics and pneumonia prevention practices was used to measure the preventive measures done by caregivers. All participants gave an informed consent to participate in the research study after the researcher had fully explained to them the purpose of the study using the language they are well conversant with. Permission to execute this study was granted by the head of Department of Nursing Science and Joint Research Ethics Committee. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data. Computerized Statistical Microsoft Excel and Package for Social Sciences was also used to analyze numerical data to obtain percentages, mean, modes, averages and frequencies. Data was presented in graphs and tables. Twenty-eight (70%) participants exhibited average levels of practicing pneumonia prevention and the least number (7.5%) of the participants showed high levels of preventing pneumonia. This may be due to absenteeism of caregivers when pneumonia health education is given, it might be also due to the fact that the majority of the participants were first time mothers and fathers and also might be as a result of neglecting pneumonia preventive measures when health education is being given. The findings can be said to be a better outcome as the majority are averagely preventing pneumonia, but for pneumonia and associated deaths to be decreased to an insignificant rate, the majority should be highly practicing pneumonia prevention. Therefore, health education need to be given more regularly to cater for first time mothers and fathers, and those who would be absent when previous sessions are done. Further studies should be done on factors that might hinder proper implication of pneumonia prevention practices.

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