Care-seeking behaviour and treatment practices for malaria in children under 5 years in Mozambique: a secondary analysis of 2011 DHS and 2015 IMASIDA datasets

Annette Cassy, Abuchahama Saifodine, Candrinho, Baltazar Neves, MR Martins, Saraiva da Cunha, F Pereira, Eduardo Samo Gudo

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In Mozambique, the prevalence of malaria in children under 5 years of age is among the highest in the world, but limited data exist on determinants of care-seeking behaviour for malaria. This study aimed at determining the trends and factors associated with care-seeking behaviour for fever among children under 5 years of age and to assess the treatment practices for malaria.
Secondary data analysis of two cross-sectional studies. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize socio-economic and demographic characteristics of participants, using data from the 2011 Demographic and Health Survey and 2015 Indicators of Immunization, Malaria and HIV/AIDS Survey. Complex sampling logistic regression model was used to identify factors associated with care-seeking behaviour, with estimated adjusted odds ratio and respective 95% confidence intervals, only for 2015 IMASIDA data.
A total of 10,452 and 5168 children under 5 years of age were enrolled in the 2011 DHS and 2015 IMASIDA, respectively. Care-seeking for fever in public and private sectors remained stable during this period (62.6%; 835/1432 in 2011 and 63.7%; 974/1529 in 2015). The main place where care was sought in both surveys was public hospitals (86.2%; 773/897 in 2011 and 86.7%; 844/974 in 2015). Prescription of anti-malarial drugs increased from 42.9% (385/897) in 2011 to 53.8% (524/974) in 2015. Artemether-lumefantrine was the most used anti-malarial drug for febrile children in both surveys and its use increased from 59.0% (219/373) in 2011 to 89.3% (457/512) in 2015. Data from 2015 elucidated that care-seeking was more common in children whose mothers had a secondary level of education (AOR = 2.27 [95% CI 1.15-4.49]) and among those in poorer quintile (AOR = 1.46 [95% CI 0.83-1.90]). Mothers with higher education level (AOR = 0.16 [95% CI 0.34-0.78]) were less likely to seek out care. People from Manica (AOR = 2.49 [1.03-6.01]), Sofala ([AOR = 2.91 [1.03-8.24]), Inhambane (AOR = 3.95 [1.25-12.45]), Gaza (AOR = 3.25 [1.22-8.65]) and Maputo Province (AOR = 2.65 [1.10-6.41]) were more likely to seek care than people from Maputo City.
Data from this study showed that care-seeking in Mozambique remained suboptimal. Interventions to raise the awareness for early care-seeking during episodes of fever should be urgently reinforced and intensified.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115
Number of pages10
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2019


  • Malaria
  • Care-seeking behavior
  • Treatment
  • Children under 5 years of age
  • Mozambique


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