Sociodemographic profile and the associated factors of chronic otitis media in rural areas of eastern Nepal
Keywords:Otitis media, Rural community, Sociodemographic profile, Practices
Background: Otitis media is one of the commonest infections in children. The present study was aimed to determine the sociodemographic profile and the associated factors of chronic otitis media along with the health related practices and beliefs among the family of rural children with otitis media in Morang district of eastern Nepal.
Methods: This cross sectional study was done over one year in different ear camps conducted in the various rural areas of Morang district of eastern Nepal. The attending guardians of the children with chronic otitis media were interviewed according to the pretested questionnaire regarding their socioeconomic status, health related practices, beliefs and other related issues. All the collected data were tabulated and analyzed.
Results: A total of 102 attendants were interviewed. Most of the attending guardians were from low socioeconomic status with majority from medium sized family (4-7 persons). Most of them were illiterate. Most of the children lived in Kachha house. Inspite of only nearly 40% family having latrine, sanitation habits were satisfactory in above 80%. 53.92% of the children with chronic otitis media used to take bath in ponds and lake. Most of the guardians had the habit of cleaning ears in unsafe way. Nearly, a third of the guardians were not aware about importance of head position during breast feeding. Most of the guardians were not aware about the causes and treatment of otitis media. In case of ear discharge, most of them seeked help in health institutions. 14.7% would rely on house hold remedies like oil, herbs instilled in to ears and 2.94% would go to faith healer. However 75.5% of the attendants perceived that the use of antibiotics was the method to treat otitis media.
Conclusions: The prevailing chronic otitis media in rural children is associated with several risk factors. The lack of appropriate knowledge, perception and erroneous practices stresses the importance of specific health education to the population. Early detection and preventive programs for better ear care can possibly help to alleviate this burden of chronic illness in the society.
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