Health Services Access for Young Children with Sickle Cell Anaemia in the Chilubi District of Zambia

  • Prof. Kathryn H Jacobsen George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA Corresponding Author
  • D Sinkala University of Lusaka, Lusaka, Zambia
  • L C Fleming George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA
  • F Silwimba University of Lusaka, Lusaka, Zambia
Keywords: sickle cell anaemia, sickle cell disease, access to health care, health attitudes, sub-Saharan Africa

Abstract

Background: Young children with sickle cell anaemia (SCA) require frequent medical interventions to prevent fatal complications and improve quality of life.

Methods: The care givers of 40 randomly-sampled

children <5 years old with SCA who lived in rural Chilubi district in northern Zambia were interviewed in 2016.

Results: Most of the parents had poor knowledge of SCA, treated most SCA symptoms at home, and were unaware of the SCA complications requiring emergency clinical care. Distance and cost were frequent barriers to accessing medical services. The local clinic was perceived to lack the human and material resources necessary to offer high-quality care.

Conclusions: Community-based family health education programs may increase parental knowledge of SCA and reduce some of the barriers to seeking care for their children. Additional SCA training for nurses and clinical officers will enable them to provider higher-quality preventive and therapeutic care.

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Author Biographies

Prof. Kathryn H Jacobsen, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA Corresponding Author

Department of Global & Community Health

D Sinkala, University of Lusaka, Lusaka, Zambia

Department of Public Health

L C Fleming, George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia, USA

Department of Global & Community Health,

F Silwimba, University of Lusaka, Lusaka, Zambia

Department of Public Health

Published
2018-11-21
Section
Articles