Care-seeking patterns amongst suspected paediatric pneumonia deaths in rural Malawi.

King, Carina, Banda, Masford, Bar-Zeev, Naor, Beard, James, French, Neil ORCID: 0000-0003-4814-8293, Makwenda, Charles, McCollum, Eric, Mdala, Malizani, Bin Nisar, Yasir, Phiri, Tambosi
et al (show 2 more authors) (2020) Care-seeking patterns amongst suspected paediatric pneumonia deaths in rural Malawi. Gates Open Res, 4. p. 178.

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Background: Pneumonia remains a leading cause of paediatric deaths. To understand contextual challenges in care pathways, we explored patterns in care-seeking amongst children who died of pneumonia in Malawi. Methods: We conducted a mixed-methods analysis of verbal autopsies (VA) amongst deaths in children aged 1-59 months from 10/2011 to 06/2016 in Mchinji district, Malawi. Suspected pneumonia deaths were defined as: 1. caregiver reported cough and fast breathing in the 2-weeks prior to death; or, 2. the caregiver specifically stated the child died of pneumonia; or 3. cause of death assigned as 'acute respiratory infection' using InterVA-4. Data were extracted from free-text narratives based on domains in the 'Pathways to Survival' framework, and described using proportions. Qualitative analysis used a framework approach, with pre-specified themes. Results: We analysed 171 suspected pneumonia deaths. In total, 86% of children were taken to a healthcare facility during their final illness episode, and 44% sought care more than once.  Of children who went to hospital (n=119), 70% were admitted, and 25% received oxygen. Half of the children died within a healthcare setting (43% hospital, 5% health centre and 2% private clinics), 64 (37%) at home, and 22 (13%) in transit. Challenges in delayed care, transport and quality of care (including oxygen), were reported. Conclusions: Healthcare was frequently sought for children who died of suspected pneumonia, however several missed opportunities for care were seen. Sustained investment in timely appropriate care seeking, quick transportation to hospital and improved case management at all levels of the system is needed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: child, mortality, pathways to survival, pneumonia, sub-Saharan Africa
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 08:13
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 23:00
DOI: 10.12688/gatesopenres.13208.1
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