Health Care Utilization and Attitude Surveys Associated with the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS)
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



We evaluated patterns of health care use for diarrhea among children 0–59 months of age residing in Mirzapur, Bangladesh, using a baseline survey conducted during May–June 2007 to inform the design of a planned diarrheal etiology case/control study. Caretakers of 7.4% of 1,128 children reported a diarrheal illness in the preceding 14 days; among 95 children with diarrhea, 24.2% had blood in the stool, 12.2% received oral rehydration solution, 27.6% received homemade fluids, and none received zinc at home. Caretakers of 87.9% sought care outside the home; 49.9% from a pharmacy, and 22.1% from a hospital or health center. The primary reasons for not seeking care were maternal perception that the illness was not serious enough (74.0%) and the high cost of treatment (21.9%). To improve management of childhood diarrhea in Mirzapur, Bangladesh, it will be important to address knowledge gaps in caretakers' assessment of illness severity, appropriate home management, and when to seek care in the formal sector. In addition, consideration should be given to inclusion of the diverse care-giving settings in clinical training activities for diarrheal disease management.

[open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's Re-use License which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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  • Received : 27 Feb 2013
  • Accepted : 09 Apr 2013
  • Published online : 10 Jul 2013

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