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Domestic Approach towards Convulsion among Mothers

Domestic Approach towards Convulsion among Mothers with One or More Children in Ngbo of Ohuakwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State


This research variable attempts to readily examine the already existing remedies for the treatment of febrile convulsion at home mainly by mothers situated at Ukwuagba Community in Ohaukwu Local Government Area. The research study is specifically determined to ascertain the rate of knowledge of aetiology of febrile convulsions, various home remedies applied by mothers in the treatment of febrile convulsion, and the various reasons for the various treatments, a precise and descriptive method was used. Area of study covered the Ukwuagba Community in Ohaukwu local government  area of Ebonyi State, the population for study consist of about four thousand seven hundred and fifty mothers (4, 750) residing in the same community at the time of study. Then a precise sample of 265 mothers was variably selected through stratified random sampling, 265 questionnaires were administered out of which 265 respondent gave responses that were accepted for working purposes. The findings were that mothers solely believe that the term febrile convulsion is caused by evil spirit poisonous neighbours witches, wizards in that specific designated home preparations and remedies e.g “ginger, garlic, udeaki” mixed with some other natural herbs, placing the baby’s feet and hands on heat are also used to treat febrile convulsion in children and that inaccessibility of hospital, lack of drugs and treatment costs in the hospital made mothers valuable to Domestic Approach of the disease in children. In conclusion, febrile convulsion is a deadly diseases that requires urgent orthodox management, I therefore strongly recommend that urgent help should be rendered by the government should ensures easy accessibility of health care delivery to the people in the rural areas by citing at least one health centre in every locality. 



Background of the study

Convulsion is also known as Epilepsy which is the most commonly encountered serious neurological problem in obstetrical practice. The disease and treating medications may have significant impact on contraceptive choice, efficacy and reproduction (Lowenstein 2005). There have been reports increased rates of sexual dysfunction, hypothalamic amenorrhoea, hyperprolactinemia, premature menopause, increase in anovulatory cycles and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) in women with convulsion (Herzog, (2008). Women with this infectious should be aware that hormonal contraceptive failure  may occur with enzyme-including AEDs (EIAEDs) such as phenobartition, oxcarbazepine felbamate and topiramate. They induce the hepatic cytochrome P-450 enzyme system and increase the clearance of contraceptive steroid while increasing the level of sex hormone binging globulin, which in turn decrease the levels of freely circulating progestins (Ohman, 2000). Recent evident suggest no greater risk of major congential malfomrations (MCMs) associated with lamotrigine when compared with untreated pregnancies in with epilepsy. It is therefore important to balance a lower risk of association with teratogenic outcomes against efficacy in controlling seizures.

The aim should be to have seizures control for at least 6 months before conception and, if possible, cease or use the lowest effective dose of a surgle anticonvusant according to the type of epilepsy. Medication should be taken in divided doses avoiding high peak levels, and once pregnancy is established, medications should not be changed. If is important to reassure women who do not require AED, that they are not at increased risk of having a baby with a birth defect. Although the fetus is relatively resistant to short hypoxic episodes, prolonged convulsive seizures may result in sustained fetal hypoxia. Additional risks of maternal seizures include injury to the fetus, abruption or miscarriage due to maternal trauma sustained during a seizure (Hauser, 2000).

The term febrile convulsion has been a threatening condition and a tremendous fear in the Paediatric world, fever can easily be recognized by mothers or care giver by feeling the hotness of the body using the back of palm, when this is noticed early intervention such as given of oral antipyretic available at home, given a cold bath or taken the child to hospital will be done. All these measures are taken to save the life of the child. However this fever may result in febrile convulsion which is life threatening and requires urgent intervention in other to save the life of the child. Since this require urgent treatment, home management is instituted before taken the child to the hospital, In essence the type of treatment given may depend on the culture, educational background, past experiences among others, and also the type they can handle with good result.

Lissauer, (2002) defined febrile convulsion as “a seizure occurring in a child aged from six months to five years precipitated by a fever arising from infection outside the nervous system in a child who is otherwise neurologically normal”. It disrupts family life and gives most unpleasant experience to both the child and his parents. As stated in the above definition, children in the age group of 0 month to five years are particularly prone to this condition. This is because the child’s brain is not fully developed and also genetic predisposition can cause febrile convulsions. However, majority of children out grow the susceptibility to febrile convulsions by the age of five years. Most children who have had one febrile convulsion are likely to have another attack till the age of five years but as they grow, the frequency of the attack decreases.

Currently, febrile convulsion has remained the most dreaded illness among the under 5 years all over the world, especially in tropical Africa (UNICEF, 2001). For instance, a study carried out by Iloeje, (2009) over a year period at the children’s emergency unit of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu noted that febrile convulsion are by far the most commonly encountered neurological emergencies. Of all the cases seen in the unit over the said period, 11.1% were neurological emergencies out of which febrile convulsion constituted a majority (7.5%).

The high incidence of febrile convulsion in this environment is not surprising given that fever is caused by a wide range of infections which are common in the tropics and in the under developed world.

This frightening and life threatening condition has attracted a wide range of therapeutic remedies and traditional medicines from indigenous practitioners who usually undertake to manage febrile convulsion at home. According to Ebrahim (2003), home management of febrile convulsion (and in fact, other seizures) and the strategies adopted are based on traditional beliefs about cause of fit, often strongly interwoven with witchcraft, magic and taboos. It is therefore important to explore these home management approaches from a typical rural community in Nigeria to ascertain the extent at which these traditional beliefs are interwoven with modern orthodox therapies.

Statement of problems

          In Nigeria it is generally believed that diseases are mainly caused by spiritual attacks, sorcery or witchcraft. This perception of the disease causation gives rise to panic and poor quality home management of diseases especially febrile convulsion.

Most reports on home management of febrile convulsion show that non-scientifically tested concoctions are used for home management of the disease. Even water is not allowed to touch febrile child due to their belief that it will worsen the child’s condition by accelerating convulsion. Very often, children are brought to the hospital for treatment only when available home remedies have proved abortive. The delay in seeking orthodox treatment leads to development of complications like body injuries in seizure, epilepsy, mental retardation, developmental delays or behavioural abnormalities may occur (UNICEF, 2001).

Medical experts believe that high death rate ascribed to the diseases is rather caused by wrong method used in home management of the disease (Varity, 2008 and Iloeje, 2009). Hence the researcher was motivated to study the home management of children 0-5years with febrile convulsion among mothers.

Purpose of study

          The purpose of study is to assess the Domestic Approach to children of 0-5years with febrile convulsion among mothers at Ngbo in Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

Objective of the study

This study is specifically intended to:

  • Identify factors that encourage home treatment of febrile convulsion among mothers.
  • Determine the various home remedies used by the women in treating febrile convulsion in children.
  • Assess the knowledge of mothers about febrile convulsion.

Significance of the study

This work will provide information about managing febrile convulsion at home to all stakeholders. For instance, it may contain information on how to give first aid treatment to those children from 0 – 5 years having febrile convulsion at home. This will inform decision to correct misconceptions if any among the mothers in Ngbo as a whole. They will also learn to take their children to the hospital or nearby health centre when they have febrile convulsion.

Academically, this work will be of immense benefit to future researchers in related field because it will become a veritable source of reference to them. The work also has policy implication, which is of paramount importance. Health workers and government officials who make policies on this field will become aware of the reasons that give rise to wrong domestic approach of the diseases. This will help them to formulate policies capable of tracking the menace.

Finally, the decrease in infant mortality rate related to febrile convulsion which will be achieved by the awareness created by this works will be a monumental contribution to knowledge and a relief to humanity.

Research Questions

  1. What are the factors that encourage domestic approach of febrile convulsion as practice by the women of Ngbo in General.
  2. What do they use in treatment practice given at home?
  3. What are the mothers knowledge about the concept of febrile convulsion?

Scope of study

          This study is delimited to assessing domestic approach  of  febrile convulsion in children aged 0-5years among mothers in Ngbo. Irrespective of their educational background, socioeconomic status, religions and cultural beliefs.

Operational definition of terms

  • Children are generally humans between the stages of birth and puberty. Children are classified as: Neonate, Infant and Toddler.
  • Mothersare women who perform the role of bearing some relation to their children.
  • Domestic Approach is the process of effectively running a household, such as caring for children and their environments.
  • Febrile Convulsion is a seizure or fit, which occurs with a rapid rise in body temperature.


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Domestic Approach towards Convulsion among Mothers with One or More Children in Ngbo of Ohuakwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State

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