Health-seeking behavior and associated factors during the first episode of childhood diarrhea and pneumonia in a coastal area of Bangladesh


  • Sanjoy Saha Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  • M. Aminul Haque Department of Population Sciences, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • M. Abdul Baker Chowdhury Department of Emergency Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA



Health-seeking behavior, Diarrhea, Pneumonia, Childhood, Mothers


Background: Pneumonia and diarrhea are the leading causes of under-five (U5) child mortality in Bangladesh. Seeking appropriate care in timely manner may prevent U5 child mortality due to pneumonia and diarrhea, and thus, it is important to understand perception and barriers of health-seeking behavior of parents during childhood pneumonia and diarrhea in order to develop healthcare policies, and design programs to improve health care utilization practices in disadvantaged areas. The study aimed to explore the factors affecting health-seeking behavior during the first episode of childhood diarrhea and pneumonia.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, survey interviews with 392 mothers, and two focus group discussions (FGD) with fathers (n = 16) were conducted in two villages of Teknaf Upazila in a coastal district in Bangladesh.

Results: Logistic regression analysis indicated that during childhood diarrhea, mother’s age, household monthly income, monthly health expenditure and mother’s knowledge regarding danger signs, and during childhood pneumonia, mothers’ education level, monthly household income, monthly expenditure for treatment, household size, and knowledge regarding danger signs were the predictors of mothers’ health-seeking behavior. Results from FGDs indicate that financial problems, low education, distance to health facilities, poor transport facilities hinder the ability to seek timely care during childhood diarrhea and pneumonia.

Conclusions: Policies and programs should be in place to address barriers of health-seeking behaviors to reduce child mortality due to diarrhea and pneumonia in coastal areas.

Author Biographies

Sanjoy Saha, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Postdoctoral Fellow

M. Aminul Haque, Department of Population Sciences, University of Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Department of Population Sciences, Professor


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How to Cite

Saha, S., Haque, M. A., & Chowdhury, M. A. B. (2022). Health-seeking behavior and associated factors during the first episode of childhood diarrhea and pneumonia in a coastal area of Bangladesh. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 9(2), 575–582.



Original Research Articles