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An interventional study to assess the change in knowledge and attitude regarding child health care among adolescents of tribal ashram shala, Sakwar, Palghar district, by four-pronged approach

Sunita Shanbhag, Mandar Sadawarte, Ratnendra Shinde, Deepika Nandanwar.


Background: Adolescents of tribal areas possess hardly any knowledge about the health care of the children. This study was undertaken to explore the attitudinal change among the tribal adolescents with respect to health care of the children by using the four-pronged approach.

Objective: To study the knowledge and attitude of adolescent school children about health care of children, study the change of knowledge and attitude, and identify the areas of child health care, which have a good retention among study subjects for 1 year.

Materials and Methods: A longitudinal interventional study was carried out in an ashram shala of tribal area, Sakwar, Palghar, Maharshtra, India. Baseline information about health care was collected using a structured questionnaire from 126 children. Health education sessions were conducted, and questionnaires were again given at 1, 6, and 12 months after the sessions to determine the retention of knowledge among the students.

Result: About 90.47% students before the interventions said that oral polio vaccine is the “only” vaccine given to children. The danger signs of ill-health being fever, cough, and diarrhea were known to only 22% students, while 1 year after the interventions, the same fact was perceived by more than 78% students.

Conclusion: The increase in retention of correct knowledge regarding various aspects of breastfeeding and weaning was significant. The four-pronged interventional model has brought about significant positive changes in the knowledge and attitude of adolescent boys and girls regarding the reproductive and child health issues, and these changes lasted till 1 year.

Key words: Adolescent, child health, ashram shala, model

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