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Health SA Gesondheid (Online)

versão On-line ISSN 2071-9736
versão impressa ISSN 1025-9848

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FLYNN, Aspen D. et al. An assessment of infant medication administration and storage practices in selected communities in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province, South Africa. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2019, vol.24, pp.1-7. ISSN 2071-9736.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v24i0.1075.

BACKGROUND: Effective infant medication administration and storage is a major public health challenge outlined by the World Health Organization. These challenges may be exacerbated in rural or limited-resource areas. AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate infant medication administration and storage practices. SETTING: This study took place in selected communities in the Vhembe District of Limpopo Province, South Africa. METHOD: Data was collected through 39 semi-structured interviews with infant caretakers and rural health workers. Interviews were recorded when permission was given by participants. Interviews were transcribed and coded using grounded theory and Tesch's model of data analysis. Themes were agreed upon through consensus discussions with the researchers and an independent coder. RESULTS: Six themes that affect current infant medication administration and storage practices in the Vhembe District were identified: access to infant healthcare, the role of health workers, the devices used in the administration of infant medication, reluctance of the infant to take the medication, storage and reuse of infant medication in the rural home and hygiene practices surrounding infant medication administration. CONCLUSIONS: Many factors were found to affect infant medication administration and storage practices in in the Vhembe District. Substantial evidence was found to suggest that the relationship between rural health workers and infant caretakers strongly influences these practices: a great amount of reliance and trust is placed in the health worker. Ensuring proper dosage of infant medication in the rural household arose as a main concern of participants. Reuse of medication in the home and home hygiene practices surrounding infant medication administration are areas of potential future research. This future research may further inform recommendations for infant medication administration and storage practices in the Vhembe District.

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