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Geographical disparities and determinants of childhood diarrheal illness in Ethiopia: further analysis of 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Asmamaw Atnafu, Malede Mequanent Sisay, Getu Debalkie Demissie, and Zemenu Tadesse Tessema
Source: Tropical Medicine and Health, 48: 64; DOI: 10.1186/s41182-020-00252-5
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: AUG 2020
Abstract: Background Childhood diarrheal illness is the second leading cause of child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ethiopia. Epidemiology of diarrhea has long-term implications with respect to medical, social, and economic consequences. Studies hypothesize that there have been regional differences, and this study aimed to examine the spatial variations and identify the determinants of childhood diarrhea in Ethiopia. Methods Data from the 2016 Demographic and Health Survey of Ethiopia (EDHS), which included 10,337 aged under 5 years were analyzed. The survey was conducted using a two-stage stratified sampling design. The study attempted to detect and test the clustering of diarrhea cases using global Moran’s I and LISA. Descriptive statistics followed by mixed-effect logistic regressions were used to identify factors related to the prevalence of diarrhea. Results Overall, 11.87% of the children experienced childhood diarrheal illness. The study showed that the risk was high in the southern and central parts and low in the eastern and western regions of the country. Children aged 6–12 (AOR = 2.66, [95% CI 2.01, 3.52]), 12–23 (AOR = 2.45, [95% CI 1.89, 3.17]), and 24–35 (AOR = 1.53, [95% CI 1.17, 2.01]) months were more likely to suffer from childhood diarrhea than those aged less than 6?months. Children in Tigray (AOR = 1.69 [95% CI 1.01, 2.83]), Amhara (AOR = 1.80, [95% CI 1.06, 3.06]), SNNPR (AOR = 2.04, [95% CI 1.22, 3.42]), and Gambella (AOR = 2.05, [95% CI 1.22, 3.42]) were at higher risk than those in Addis Ababa. The odds of getting diarrhea decreased by 24% among households with = 3 under-five children compared to those with only one under-five child (AOR = 0.76 [95% CI 0.61, 0.94]). The odds of getting diarrheal illness for the children of employed mothers increased by 19% compared to those children of non-employed mothers (AOR = 1.19 [95% CI 1.03, 1.38]). Conclusions Childhood diarrheal disease is prevalent among under-five children, particularly in the regions of SNNP, Gambella, Oromia, and Benishangul Gumuz, while the regions are generally making progress in reducing childhood illness. Capacity building programs with the best experience sharing and better home environments can be effective in reducing the incidence of childhood diarrhea in Ethiopia. Keywords: Spatial statistics, Ethiopia, Under-five children, Diarrhea, Generalized mixed model