Research

Educating caregivers to recognise the clinical signs of pneumonia in children younger than 6 months

D Ansong, F A Osei, S K Owusu, I Nyanor, J Bonney, A Enimil, D O Laryea, J Dapaah, P Agyei-Baffour, N K Mensah, I Osei-Peprah, A Owusu, E Addo-Yobo, Alex Osei-Akoto, S C Y Appiah, V Ampiah, J O Saahene, E X Amuzu, M Telly, J Sylverken

Abstract


Background. Pneumonia remains the foremost cause of death in young children in sub-Saharan Africa. This phenomenon is largely driven by poor access to healthcare and delay in seeking medical care for childhood pneumonia.

Objective. To assess the effectiveness of training caregivers to recognise the early clinical signs of pneumonia.

Methods. The study involved a cohort of women presenting to the Child Welfare Clinic at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana, between 7 July and 8 September 2016. A total of 90 women with children younger than 10 weeks were recruited. Participants were trained on identifying early signs of pneumonia using low-cost equipment. Follow-up training and assessment sessions formed part of the programme.

Results. At pre-training assessment, the majority of the participants (n=83/90; 92.2%) recognised lower chest indrawing as a sign of respiratory disease requiring immediate hospital intervention. Participants’ performance in determining rhythms of 50 breaths per minute (bpm) and 60 bpm improved significantly across sessions (p=0.011 and p≤0.001, respectively). After training, 87 participants (96.7%) were able to determine rapid breathing accurately compared with 73 participants (81.1%) before training (p=0.001).

Conclusion. The results suggest that caregivers can be effectively trained to identify clinical signs of pneumonia in young children, even in low-resource settings. A training initiative as described in this study could be an effective public health intervention to help address the burden of pneumonia in low-resource settings.


Authors' affiliations

D Ansong, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana;Department of Child Health, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana;Research and Development Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

F A Osei, Public Health Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

S K Owusu, Research and Development Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

I Nyanor, Research and Development Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

J Bonney, Research and Development Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

A Enimil, Department of Child Health, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

D O Laryea, Public Health Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

J Dapaah, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

P Agyei-Baffour, School of Public Health, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

N K Mensah, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

I Osei-Peprah, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

A Owusu, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

E Addo-Yobo, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; Department of Child Health, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

Alex Osei-Akoto, School of Medical Sciences, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana; Department of Child Health, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

S C Y Appiah, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

V Ampiah, Department of Sociology and Social Work, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

J O Saahene, Research and Development Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

E X Amuzu, Research and Development Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

M Telly, Public Health Unit, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

J Sylverken, Department of Child Health, Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital, Kumasi, Ghana

Full Text

PDF (200KB)

Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2020;14(2):71-76. DOI:10.7196/SAJCH.2020.v14i2.1642

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-07-07
Date published: 2020-07-07

Article Views

Abstract views: 245
Full text views: 46

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here