Perceptions of mothers and hospital staff of paediatric care in 13 public hospitals in northern Tanzania.

Mwangi, R; Chandler, C; Nasuwa, F; Mbakilwa, H; Poulsen, A; Bygbjerg, IC; Reyburn, H; (2008) Perceptions of mothers and hospital staff of paediatric care in 13 public hospitals in northern Tanzania. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 102 (8). pp. 805-10. ISSN 0035-9203 DOI:

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User and provider perceptions of quality of care are likely to affect both use and provision of services. However, little is known about how health workers and mothers perceive the delivery of care in hospital paediatric wards in Africa. Paediatric staff and mothers of paediatric inpatients were interviewed to explore their opinions and experience of the admission process and conditions on the ward. Overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and lack of food were major concerns for mothers on the ward, who were deterred from seeking treatment earlier due to fears that hospital admission posed a significant risk of exposure to infection. While most staff were seen as being sympathetic and supportive to mothers, a minority were reported to be judgemental and authoritarian. Health workers identified lack of trained staff, overwork and low pay as major concerns. Staff shortages, lack of effective training and equipment are established problems but our findings also highlight a need for wards to become more parent-friendly, particularly with regard to food, hygiene and space. Training programmes focused on professional conduct and awareness of the problems that mothers face in seeking and receiving care may result in a more supportive and cooperative attitude between staff and mothers.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Disease Control
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Global Health and Development
PubMed ID: 18533215
Web of Science ID: 258201600012


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