| || || Pratap, Ram Naresh.|
| || || The health situation in Fiji : determinants of parental response to child illness |
Author:Pratap, Ram Naresh.
Institution: University of the South Pacific.
Subject: Children -- Health and hygiene -- Fiji -- Labasa , Children -- Fiji -- Labasa -- Economic conditions , Children -- Fiji -- Labasa -- Social conditions
Call No.: Pac RJ 103 .F5 P737
Copyright:40-60% of this thesis may be copied without the authors written permission
Abstract: The factors influencing parents decision towards childrens illness are many and varied. The important role of children cannot be overemphasised and can only be realised if adequate attention is given to child survival which depends primarily on the health status of a child. Among the myriads of factors which influence parents actions, there are some which have major influences. According to literature on this topic the major ones are socioeconomic factors like income, occupational status and education, especially of mothers. Appropriateness of response was used as the main dependent variable for child health. This also took into account the use of traditional and modern medicine and what factors could influence them The factors influencing the parents' choice of action when their children are sick should be of major concern to the government because of their implications on the attainment of a high level of health status, which the United Nations has expressed the need for by the year 2000. The aims of this study are threefold. Firstly, since health service utilisation is dependent on various factors which differ from individual to individual and society to society, an effort will be made to uncover the factors which may influence the choice of medical care. The choice of medical care in this study was influenced by socioeconomic factors and the availability, accessibility and affordability of the services. Parents play an important role in the nurture and health of their children. Since the effect is multifactorial, the second aim is to show the part played by parental socioeconomic status towards child health. This includes looking at education, income, housing quality, medical knowledge and status of parents. Finally, an effort is made to establish the relationship between the use of modem medical facilities and child health. Wailevu, an essentially Indo-Fijian area close to the researcher's home town of Labasa, Vanua Levu, was selected, and an interview questionnaire was used to gather parents' responses. Random sampling within stratified sampling was used. The households with children in the age group 0-5 years were marked and a random sample of 60 households was chosen to find out what factors influenced the parents' decisions when their children are sick. The variables were later coded and categorised into groups which were used to test hypotheses. Chi-square test was used at 95 percent significance level. Findings suggest that the major factors which had influence parents decisions were income, occupational status and education of mother. Housing quality and nearness to bus route or hospital had a slightly less effect. It is the writer's opinion that there needs to be a restructuring of the political system in Fiji so that an environment conducive for more socioeconomic development can take place. This is necessary because child health is influenced by all the physical and non- physical factors in a system.