OBJECTIVES: This study examined determinants of modern health care use by families after their child aged 0-5 years sustained a burn injury in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. METHODS: A community based survey of children aged 0-5 years was conducted in 50 enumeration areas in the region. Mothers of all children with scars as evidence of a burn were selected for a follow up interview using a standard questionnaire two to three months later. Determinants of health care use were investigated through a multivariate logistic regression using interview responses from mothers of 617 children for whom report on some treatment was given. RESULTS: Overall, 48% of the burned children were taken to a modern health facility for treatment. Of those taken to a modern health facility, 68% were sent within 24 hours of the burn event. Factors with large adjusted odds ratios for modern health care use included wound infection, burns covering 6% or more of the body surface, and third degree burns. Compared with scalds, children with contact and flame burns were less likely to be taken to a health facility, as were burns to rural children, and those given first aid treatment at home. CONCLUSIONS: It is concluded that families, particularly rural residents, should be educated about appropriate health care seeking practices after a burn.
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