Published: 7 May 2024| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/673yr7wstc.1
Ibrahim Foday


Introduction: This study presents a comprehensive exploration of caregivers' knowledge of measles and their decision-making processes regarding treatment options in the Campbell Town Community, Waterloo. It combines mixed-methods research to provide insights into the balance between modern and traditional treatments for measles. Methods: A mixed-methods approach was employed, with a sample of 100 caregivers chosen through stratified random and convenience sampling. The research objectives assessed knowledge levels, influencing factors on treatment decisions, traditional treatments, and the effectiveness and safety of treatments. Two hypotheses regarding limited knowledge and influencing factors were tested. Results and Discussion: The study revealed a diverse participant demographic, with 92% awareness of measles but significant knowledge gaps about symptoms and recommended treatments. Contrary to Hypostudy1, caregivers did not have limited knowledge of measles transmission. Hypostudy2 was also not supported; instead, decision-making was influenced by safety, effectiveness, cost, and availability rather than socio-cultural factors. Age, gender, and education were not significant predictors. Conclusion: The study underscores the need for targeted interventions addressing knowledge gaps in measles symptoms and recommended treatments. Culturally sensitive approaches are essential to navigate the complex relationship between modern medical treatments and traditional remedies in measles treatment. Recommendations: To improve measles treatment and prevention in the study community, public health initiatives should focus on increasing awareness and education, particularly related to measles symptoms and evidence-based treatments. Collaboration among healthcare providers, community leaders, and caregivers is crucial for informed decision-making. Addressing socio-cultural factors influencing treatment choices and improving healthcare accessibility are key action points for a comprehensive approach.


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Research Design The research used a mixed-methods research design, which involved both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The qualitative method helped to provide an in-depth understanding of the knowledge of measles and the decision-making process of caregivers, while the quantitative method provided statistical data on the prevalence of measles, traditional and modern treatments used, and the factors that influence caregivers' treatment choices. Research Hypotheses The following research hypotheses guided the study:  Caregivers in the study area have limited knowledge of measles and its transmission.  The decision to use traditional or modern treatments for measles among caregivers is influenced by various factors, including socio-cultural beliefs, cost, and accessibility to healthcare facilities. Data Collection procedure and Research Instruments for Data Collection The three primary research instruments used were observation, interviews, and questionnaires. Observation In this study, observation was used to collect data on the treatment practices used by caregivers for their children's measles. The observation procedure involved the researcher visiting households in the Campbell Town community, Waterloo. The researcher observed the treatment practices used by caregivers for their children's measles, such as the type of treatment, the frequency of treatment, and the dosage of medication. The researcher also observed the source of treatment, whether modern or traditional, and the reasons why caregivers chose a particular treatment. The data collected through observation was recorded in a notebook and later transferred to a data analysis software for further analysis. The researcher also used a camera to take pictures of the treatment practices used by caregivers, which were used to supplement the data collected through observation. Interview Interviews were used to collect data on the knowledge of measles and how caregivers decide between modern and traditional treatments. The interview procedure involved the researcher conducting face-to-face interviews with caregivers in the Campbell Town community. The interviews were conducted in the participant's language of choice, either Krio or Mende, and lasted between 30 minutes to one hour. The interviews were semi-structured, allowing the researcher to ask follow-up questions based on the participant's responses. The questions asked during the interviews were open-ended and focused on the caregivers' knowledge of measles, the symptoms of measles, and the treatments used for measles. The interviews also explored the reasons why caregivers chose a particular treatment, the sources of information on measles, and the perceived effectiveness of the treatment. The data collected through interviews was recorded using a digital recorder and later transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were then analyzed using a data analysis software to identify patterns and themes in the data.


Njala University


Public Health