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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 84-87

Mothers' belief about infant teething in Nnewi, south eastern Nigeria

Department of Paediatrics- Nnamdi Azikiwe Univers1ty Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Clement C Ezechukwu
P.O. box 625. Nnewi Anambra State
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Objective: To ascertain the symptoms ascribed to, and . remedies given for teething In infants by mothers in Nnewi South eastern Nigeria . M ethodology: A pre-tested, open-ended questionnaire was administered to 161 consecutive mothers tending the paediatric outpatient and the infant welfare clinics of Nnamdi Aziklwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi , Nigeria . Data collect e d included mothers' educational attainment; attendance to ant e natal clinics , infant welfare clinics ; talks on teething during those clinic sessions; the stage of development and the type of feeding at the time of teething; the symptoms attributed to teething ; the remedies applied and the source of their prescription. Analysis was done using SSPS statistical pa c kage . Results: All the mothers recruit ed for the study had basic education . Seventy-seven mothers (47.8% ) had secondary school education , while 18 (11.2% ) and 66 (41.0% ) had attained primary and tertiary l evel s of education . re spectively . The commo.nest symptom was fever , while symptom-free teething was noted b y 5 .0% of mothers . ' T eething powder' was the most frequently utilized remedy (44 .1 % ) . O ther mothe rs ( respondents' peers) and their mothers (infants' grandmothers) constituted the main sources of prescription of the re medies ; 41 .1 % and 31.3΀, respectively. The majority (64 .0") of the babies were on t:;omplementa ry feeds and at the sitting -up and crawling stages . There was no significant d ifference in the beliefs or remedies give n by mot hers of differing educational levels. Conclusion: There is need for well pa ckaged health education on teet hing as a natural process at every available health delivery outlet in order to correct the misconceptions about teething , eradicate the myth s associated with it , treat infants appropriately when they are sick and avoid u nnecessary expenditure on drugs .

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