|Determinants of diarrhoea and acute respiratory infection among under-fives in Uganda|
||Australasian Medical Journal , 4(7): 400-409; DOI: 10.4066/AMJ.2011.723
Children under five
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.
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.
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.
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.
Diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, children, under-five