Key practice: Care and treatment of illnesses at home
Nurturing a healthy family
Give children and pregnant women appropriate home treatment during sickness and recovery.
Why is providing care and treatment of illnesses at home important?
- Home is where treatment of sick children starts, using locally purchased medicine.
- Care and treatment of a sick child and pregnant woman at home is the pillar for their survival.
- Care provided at home for a child with fever, diarrhoea and cough determines the recovery process and other consequences which may be either good or bad depending on the quality of care provided.
- Care provided at home for pregnant women during sickness and recovery is very important as it can protect the unborn baby and mother from any complications.
Learn more about managing some illnesses at home
Home management of fever
- If the child’s temperature gets too high, it is dangerous and it may lead to convulsions/ fits.
- When the child has a high fever, remove the child’s clothes, cool the body down using a piece of cloth soaked in lukewarm water, so as to lower the child’s body temperature.
- Give an appropriate dose of anti-malarial and paracetamol tablets to reduce the child’s temperature.
Home management of diarrhoea
- Diarrhoea takes water and food substances out of the body. This can lead to dehydration and death in a short time.
- When a child has diarrhoea, give Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) and other home fluids like juice, as well as continuing to give food to the child.
- Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) replaces the water and food substances the child is losing and therefore gives the child more strength. Keep at least 2 sachets of ORS in the house and start giving ORS as soon as diarrhoea starts.
- To prepare the ORS, mix ORS in 2 tumpeco mugs of clean boiled and cooled drinking water.
- ORS can be obtained free from government health facilities all over the country.
- A child’s teeth should never be removed due to diarrhoea or any other childhood illness. “False teeth” disease does not exist and what is removed is actually the young tooth of a child.
- A child’s teeth cannot cause diarrhoea or any other disease.
- Removing “false teeth” causes harm to the health of the child by inflicting pain on the child, destroying the pre-mature tooth making it impossible to grow, causing excessive bleeding and infection which may lead to permanent damage to the child’s jaw or death.
Home management of a cough
- When a child has a cough, give him/her more fluids and food. Fluids soothe the throat and reduce the frequency and intensity of coughing.
- Drugs are not necessary for all coughs except when a child has developed Pneumonia.
- When a child begins to breathe faster than usual or has difficulty breathing, take the child to the nearest health facility immediately.
When signs or symptoms persist and the child’s and/or pregnant woman’s condition gets worse, seek assistance immediately from a health worker or take the patient to the nearest health facility immediately.