Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Parents’ and caregivers’ attitudes towards malaria, and health care seeking practices for their febrile children in a hospital in north-eastern Nigeria

Main Article Content

Mohammed Abba Mustapha
Ahmed Dahiru Balami corresponding author


Despite the very high burden of malaria among children in Borno state, the proportion of those who receive standard treatment has been very low. This study aimed to determine malaria knowledge, attitude towards prevention, and health care seeking behaviours of parents or caregivers of children presenting with fever at the paediatric clinic of a secondary-level hospital in Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria. A cross-sectional study design was used to obtain information from the respondents. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire, from the parents or caregivers of children presented to the Paediatric clinic with history of fever, and analysed in SPSS. A total of 331 respondents were finally recruited into the study. The ages of the children ranged from one to fourteen years. Some of them (15.3%) were internally displaced persons (IDPs). As many as 90.7% and 91.9% of the respondents believed that malaria is a life-threatening illness, and ITNs could prevent malaria, respectively. Less than a half of them (42.3%) had immediately brought their children to the hospital once they detected the fever. At the hospital, only 202 (60.7%) of the children had had malaria parasite test done on them, of which 89.1% tested positive. Permanent residents were more likely to promptly take their children to the hospital, one they detected fever, compared to IDPs (Χ2=12.401, df =1, p=0.002). There is the need for promoting early presentation of febrile children to health centres, and also promoting routine malaria tests for febrile persons.

Malaria, attitudes, health care seeking behaviour, fever, children

Article Details

How to Cite
Abba Mustapha, M., & Dahiru Balami, A. (2019). Parents’ and caregivers’ attitudes towards malaria, and health care seeking practices for their febrile children in a hospital in north-eastern Nigeria. Advances in Health and Behavior, 2(1), 69-74.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site, authors. Malaria facts. [Accessed October 3, 2015].
  2. National Population Commission. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2008: National Population Commission, Abuja, 2009.
  3. NBS: The National Literacy Survey: National Bureau of Statistics, 2010.
  4. Balogun ST, Sandabe UK, Bdliya DN, et al. Asymptomatic falciparum malaria and genetic polymorphisms of Pfcrt K76T and Pfmdr1 N86Y among almajirai in northeast Nigeria. The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 2016, 10(3): 290-297.
  5. Alli JA, Okonko IO, Abraham, OA, et al. A serosurvey of blood parasites (Plasmodium, Microfilaria, HIV, HBsAG, HCV Antibodies) in Prospective Nigerian Blood Donors. Research Journal of Medical Sciences, 2010, 4(4): 225-275.
  6. Nwaorgu OC and Orajaka BN. Prevalence of Malaria among Children 1 10 Years Old in Communities in Awka North Local Government Area, Anambra State South East Nigeria. International Multidisciplinary Journal, Ethiopia, 2011, 5(5): 264-281.
  7. Nmadu PM, Peter E, Alexander P, et al. The Prevalence of Malaria in Children between the Ages 2-15 Visiting Gwarinpa General Hospital Life-Camp, Abuja, Nigeria. Journal of Health Science, 2015, 5(3): 47-51.
  8. Carrington A. Malaria: Its Human Impact, Challenges, and Control Strategies in Nigeria. Harvard Health Policy Review: Current Issue, 2001, 2(2): 1-3.
  9. Osaro E, Jamilu MH, Ahmed HM, et al. Effect of Plasmodium Parasitaemia on some Haematological Parameters in Children Living in Sokoto, North western, Nigeria. International Journal of Clinical Medicine Research, 2014, 1(2): 57-64.
  10. Okoli C and Solomon M. Prevalence of Hospital-Based Malaria among Children in Jos, North Central Nigeria. British Journal of Medicine & Medical Research, 2014, 4(17): 3231-3237.
  11. Samdi LM, Oguche S, Molta NB, et al. Plasmodium Infection in Severely ill Children Aged 0-8 years in Maiduguri Metropolis, North eastern Nigeria. Journal of Medical Sciences, 2005, 5(4): 294-297.
  12. Benisheikh AAG, Biu AA, Awana AU, et al. Epidemiology Survey of Malaria Infection among Patients Attending General Out-Patient Department of Borno State Specialist Hospital Maiduguri, Borno State. Journal of Science Multidisciplinary Research, 2014, 6(1): 119-123.
  13. Gellert S, Hassan BY, Meleh S, et al. Malaria Prevalence and Outcome in the In-patients of the Paediatric Department of the State Specialists Hospital (SSH), Maiduguri, Nigeria. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, 1998, 44(2): 109-113.
  14. Sa’ad YM, Hayatu A, Al-Mustapha II, et al. Morbidity and mortality of childhood illnesses at the emergency pediatric unit of a tertiary hospital, north-eastern Nigeria. Sahel Medical Journal, 2015, 18: 1-3.
  15. Oladeinde B, Omoregie R, Olley M, et al. Malaria and Anemia among Children in a Low Resource Setting In Nigeria. Iranian Journal of Parasitology, 2012, 7(3), 31-37.
  16. National Population Commission. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey 2013: National Population Commission, Abuja, 2014.
  17. Ahmad MAW, Amin AAWM, Aleng A, et al. Some Practical Guidelines for Effective Sample-Size Determination in Observational Studies. Aceh International Journal of Science and Technology, 2012, 1(2): 51-53.
  18. Redding CA, Rossi JS, Rossi SR, et al. Health Behaviour Models. The International Electronic Journal of Health Education, 2000, 3: 180-193.
  19. Adebayo AM, Akinyemi OO and Cadmus EO. Knowledge of malaria prevention among pregnant women and female caregivers of under-five children in rural southwest Nigeria. PeerJ, 2015, 3: e792.
  20. Ghosh A, Sarkar D, Pal R, et al. Burden of Malaria and Health Service Utilization in a Tribal Community of West Bengal State, India. American Journal of Public Health Research, 2015, 3(5A): 182-185.
  21. Thomas S, Vijaykumar C, Naik R, et al. Comparative effectiveness of tepid sponging and antipyretic drug versus only antipyretic drug in the management of fever among children: a randomized controlled trial. Indian Pediatric, 2009, 46(2):133-136.
  22. Axelrod P. External Cooling in the Management of Fever. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2000, 31(5): S224-S229.
  23. United Nations. The Millennium Development Goals report 2014. United Nations, New York, 2014.
  24. World Health Organization. Global technical strategy for malaria (2016-2030). World Health Organization. 20 Avenue Appia, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland, 2015.
  25. Federal Ministry of Health. National Guidelines and Strategies for Malaria Prevention and Control during Pregnancy. Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria, 2014.
  26. O’woma OO and Chigozirim. UP, Gloria, NU. Prevalence of Malaria and Typhoid Fever Co-Infection: Knowledge, Attitude and Management Practices among Residents of Obuda-Aba, Abia State, Nigeria. American Journal of Public Health Research, 2015, 3(4): 162-166.