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Determinants of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection among under-fives in Uganda
Authors: Bbaale E
Source: Australasian Medical Journal , 4(7): 400-409; DOI: 10.4066/AMJ.2011.723
Topic(s): Child health
Children under five
Country: Africa
Published: JUL 2011
Abstract: Background Diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection (ARI) are leading causes of mortality and morbidity in children under the age of five in developing countries. On the African continent, pneumonia (14%) and diarrhoea (17%) cause more child deaths than Malaria (16%), HIV/AIDS (4%), and measles (1%) combined. This paper set out to investigate the factors associated with the occurrence of diarrhoea and ARI incidence for children under five years in Uganda. Method We used a nationally representative Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) (2006). Sampling was done in two stages. In the first stage 321 clusters were selected from among a list of clusters sampled in the 2005/06 Uganda National Household Survey (UNHS), 17 clusters from the 2002 Census frame from Karamoja, and 30 internally displaced camps (IDPs). In the second stage, households in each cluster were selected as per UNHS listing. In addition 20 households were randomly selected in each cluster. Questionnaires were used during data collection. During the analysis, a maximum likelihood probit model was used in order to ascertain the probability of occurrence of diseases. Results On average, 32% and 48% of children in the survey suffered from diarrhoea and ARI in the two weeks prior to the survey date. The occurrence was concentrated amongst children aged 0–24 months. Mother’s education, especially at postsecondary level, reduced the probability of diarrhoea occurrence but had no effect on ARI occurrence. First hour initiation and exclusive breastfeeding reduced the probability occurrence of both diarrhoea and ARI. Other significant factors associated with the occurrence of both diseases include: regional and location differentials, wealth status, type of dwelling, mother’s occupation, child age, and child nutritional status. Conclusion Policy interventions should target female education, eliminate location and regional disadvantages, and educate the population to adopt breastfeeding practices recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The government should also ensure proper dwelling places for the population that are associated with favourable health outcomes. Other proper feeding practices together with breastfeeding (after six months), should be made known to the masses so as to reduce the number of children that are malnourished and growth retarded. Key Words Diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, children, under-five years, Uganda