Variation in patterns of febrile case management in sub-Saharan Africa

Health facilities and cases of fever. a The distribution of public health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa by type. b Aggregate estimates of cases of fever treated aat Administrative level 1 per 1000 children under five (weighted by the population at risk)
Travel time to the nearest health facilities at 1 km spatial resolution in sub-Saharan Africa based on combined motorised transport and walking, adjusting for topography for a major general hospitals, b health centres and c dispensaries, clinics and health posts (lower-tier health facilities)

The study triangulated household survey data for fever in children under the age of five years with georeferenced public health facility databases (n = 86,442 facilities) in 29 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, to estimate the probability of seeking treatment for fever at public facilities. Given national healthcare coverage gaps, understanding treatment-seeking behavior for fever is crucial for the management of childhood illness and to reduce deaths. The probability of obtaining appropriate treatment for febrile illnesses is a key factor in reducing disease morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Using a combination of health facility databases and household level reported actions concerning the treatment of fever, research findings show national and sub-national variation in the probability of seeking treatment for fever in the public sector.

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