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Perception of mothers about Acute Respiratory Infections (ARIs) and risk factors affecting children Under 5 Years (U5Ys) in Fiji

      Abstract

      Purpose

      To explore the perception of mothers about Acute Respiratory Infections (ARIs) and their risk factors affecting children Under 5 Years (U5Ys) in Fiji.

      Design

      This was a qualitative study done in the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI) Clinic in Ba Hospital, Fiji. Mothers who had brought in their children with ARIs were selected through a purposive sampling method. A semi-structured open-ended questionnaire was used to guide in-depth interviews. The interviews were transcribed and the thematic analysis was done to look at the themes and sub-themes that emerged.

      Results

      A total of 30 mothers were interviewed. There were five themes that were derived from the interviews including the mothers' perception of ARIs; treatment methods; perceived barriers; services provided by IMCI clinic; and recommendations and suggestions. The mothers were familiar with the causes, risk factors and able to recognize severity of ARIs based on the local context. They mostly relied on traditional and home remedies for ARIs. Most mothers preferred injections for treatment for their child. There were many perceived barriers of ARIs prevention such as traditional norms and poor social support. Most mothers stayed in rural areas which caused poor accessibility to health care services. Few mothers had issues with poor attitude and skills of health care workers.

      Conclusions

      There are multiple factors that are barriers in reducing the risks of ARIs. There needs to be policies implemented to support the health of children in the communities as well as social support structures.

      Practice implications

      This study provides a clear picture of the perception of the mothers regarding ARIs in children under five years old. With this information at hand, it is easier to answer the question regarding the perceptions of the mothers of ARIs and the risk factors and design tailored interventions to prevent ARIs among children.

      Keywords

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