Health behaviors and care seeking practices for childhood diarrhea and pneumonia in a rural district of Pakistan: A qualitative study

Document Type



Women and Child Health; Paediatrics and Child Health


Diarrhea and pneumonia are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in children under five, and Pakistan is amongst the countries with the highest burden and low rates of related treatment coverage. We conducted a qualitative study as part of the formative phase to inform the design of the Community Mobilization and Community Incentivization (CoMIC) cluster randomized control trial (NCT03594279) in a rural district of Pakistan. We conducted in-dept interviews and focused group discussions with key stakeholders using a semi-structured study guide. Data underwent rigorous thematic analysis and major themes identified included socio-cultural dynamics, community mobilization and incentives, behavioral patterns and care seeking practices for childhood diarrhea and pneumonia, infant and young child feeding practices (IYCF), immunization, water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and access to healthcare. This study highlights shortcomings in knowledge, health practices and health systems. There was to a certain extent awareness of the importance of hygiene, immunization, nutrition, and care-seeking, but the practices were poor due to various reasons. Poverty and lifestyle were considered prime factors for poor health behaviors, while health system inefficiencies added to these as rural facilities lack equipment and supplies, resources, and funding. The community identified that intensive inclusive community engagement and demand creation strategies tied to conditioned short term tangible incentives could help foster behavior change


Pagination are not provided by the author/publisher.

Publication (Name of Journal)

PLoS One