Summary of Study Session 35
In Study Session 35, you have learned that:
- Acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) may affect the upper or lower respiratory tracts and are major public health problems in Ethiopia.
- Malnutrition, under-nutrition, lack of exclusive breastfeeding, lack of immunization, indoor air pollution and HIV infection are the major risk factors for ARIs.
- Acute otitis media is a common upper respiratory tract infection in young children, which is manifested by fever, ear pain, pus discharging from the ear and irritability. Children with symptoms of acute otitis media should be identified as soon as possible and treated by ‘wicking’ the pus from the ear, and giving antibiotics to prevent complications such as deafness,meningitis and pneumonia.
- Pharyngitis is another common upper respiratory tract infection, which is manifested by fever, sore throat and swollen inflamed tonsils. Children with symptoms of pharyngitis should be referred to a higher level health facility for assessment and treatment.
- Pneumonia is the major killer of children in Ethiopia and is among the top five causes of illness and death among adults.
- Severe pneumonia in children is manifested by the presence of danger signs, which include fast breathing, fever, chest in-drawing and stridor. Children with severe pneumonia are at high risk of death, and should immediately be referred to a higher level health facility to save their lives.
- Co-trimoxazole or amoxicillin are the antibiotics authorised at Health Post level to treat acute otitis media and non-severe pneumonia. Dosages are based on the patient’s age and weight.
- Prevention and control of acute respiratory tract infections include adequate nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding for infants under six months of age, immunization, protection from indoor smoke pollution, keeping children away from patients with pneumonia, teaching people to cough and sneeze away from other people, and co-trimoxazole prophylaxis for adults and children with HIV infection.