Prevalence and factors associated with diarrhea among children less than five years old in Kabarole district, Uganda
Background: About 1.7 billion cases of diarrhea occur every year around the globe, leading to deaths and severe long term sequelae such as decreased cognitive function and stunted growth. About 90% of such deaths occur in Sub Saharan Africa and South Asia. Uganda is among the 15 countries that account for almost three quarters of all deaths from diarrhea among children under-five years old. This study therefore aimed at identifying diarrhea prevalence and its risk factors among children under five years old.
Methods: A community-based cross sectional study was carried out in Kabarole district in Uganda from December 2015 – January 2016. A random sample of 367 subjects from Rwimi Sub County and East Division constituted the study population. Data were collected using an interviewer-administered guide. Logistic regression was used to identify the association of variables with diarrhea occurrence in children under five years old.
Results: Three hundred sixty three subjects were recruited in the study. Mean ages for mother/care takers and under-five children were 28.99 years and 26.54 months respectively. Among mother/care takers, 79% had formal education, and 61% had a household monthly income < UGX90,000. Prevalence of diarrhea over a 7 days period preceding the study was 33%. After controlling for all possible confounders, only 5 factors were associated with diarrhea; fetching water from open well (ORadj = 3.23, 95%CI = 1.34 – 8.01), poor level of practice (ORadj = 49.74, 95%CI = 16.22 – 152.52), reheating of left-over food (ORadj = 0.40, 95%CI = 0.21 – 0.73), and measles as child’s previous disease (ORadj = 22.14, 95%CI = 4.18 – 117.03).
Conclusions: Appropriate personal hygiene and household sanitation promotion programs should be implemented to prevent diarrhea in children less than five years old in the study area and likely elsewhere as well.
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