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Differentials in the Prevalence of Acute Respiratory Infections Among Under-Five Children: An Analysis of 37 Sub-Saharan Countries
Authors: Michael Ekholuenetale, Chimezie Igwegbe Nzoputam, Osaretin Christabel Okonji, Amadou Barrow, Anthony Ike Wegbom, Clement Kevin Edet
Source: Global Pediatric Health, Volume 10; DOI:
Topic(s): Children under five
Wealth Index
Country: Africa
  Multiple African Countries
Published: FEB 2023
Abstract: Objective We investigated the prevalence and risk factors of ARI in children under 5?years old in 37 SSA countries. Methods Data from Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of 37 African countries was examined in this analysis. Data from children under the age of 5?years old were examined. Forest plot was used to identify disparities in the occurrence of ARIs across SSA countries. Results We observed a higher prevalence of ARI among children under 5 in Uganda, Kenya, Sao Tome and Principe (9% each), Gabon, Chad, Eswatini (8% each), Burundi, Ethiopia, Congo Democratic Republic (7.0% each). The prevalence of ARI among under-five children who sought medical advice/treatment from health facility was higher in South Africa (88%), Sierra Leone (86%), Tanzanian (85%), Guinea (83%) and Uganda (80%). The prevalence rate of ARI among under-five children who received antibiotics was higher in Tanzania (61%), Sao Tome and Principe (60%), Rwanda and Congo (58% each), Angola (56.0%), Mozambique (54.0%), Kenya (53.0%), Namibia (52.0%) and Gabon (50.0%). This study found that the household wealth index, maternal education, and urban residence were significantly associated with ARI (p?<0.001). A higher prevalence of ARI was observed among urban residents, low income families, and those with mothers with lower education. Conclusion ARI prevalence could be reduced by improving household socioeconomic status, child nutrition and community awareness of indoor and outdoor pollution. Interventions and programs focused on early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of ARIs are crucial in reducing ARIs particularly in developing countries.