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Concept, practice and mother's willingness to provide meconium in environmental exposure assessment of children in mukono and palisa areas, Uganda

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Document pages: 9 pages

Abstract: In environmental pollutant exposure surveys, the presence of biomarkers or metabolites was assessed in various human biological samples, including meconium. The study collected data on mothers perceptions and practices of meconium in two rural areas of Uganda and their willingness to provide meconium from infants for research purposes. This study reveals a series of concepts and beliefs about meconium, as well as some related taboos and practices. Many participants pointed out that meconium can be used to detect neonatal diseases according to its appearance. Practice and belief include using it to prevent stomach discomfort and other diseases of newborns, as a means of confirming parent-child relationship, guiding children into clans and promotinging father-child bonding that included ingestion of meconium by the fathers. Most mothers indicated scepticism in accepting to provide meconium for research purposes and had fears of unscrupulous people disguising as researchers and using meconium to harm their children. However, some were willing to provide meconium, if it helped to detect ailments among their children. These perceptions and practices may negatively influence mothers’ willingness to participate in meconium study. However, through provision of educational and behaviour change interventions, mothers’ willingness to participate in a meconium study can be improved.

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