Childhood diarrhea in West Gojjam, Northwest Ethiopia

Girma M, Gobena T, Medhin G, Gasana J, Roba KT. Determinants of childhood diarrhea in West Gojjam, Northwest Ethiopia: a case control study. The Pan African medical journal. 2018 Jul 27;30:234. doi: 10.11604/pamj.2018.30.234.14109.

INTRODUCTION: Childhood diarrhea is a global public health problem that affects both developed and developing countries including Ethiopia. The objective of this study was to assess determinants of childhood diarrhea among children under-five years of age in West Gojjam Zone, northwest Ethiopia.

METHODS: A community-based case control study was conducted in four districts of West Gojjam in the northwest of Ethiopia from July to August, 2015. A randomly selected sample of 118 cases and 351 controls who met the inclusion criteria were included in this study. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire through face to face interview. Independent variables which had p-value less than 0.2 at an unadjusted model were candidate for the final model. Adjusted odds ratio was used to control confounding effects and to determine predictors of an outcome.

RESULTS: Unimproved water sources (AOR, 1.88; 95 % CI: 1.17-3.03), lack of hand washing at critical times (AOR, 2.38; 95 % CI: 1.42-3.99) and a deepening method to take water from a water storage container (AOR, 2.11; 95 % CI: 1.28-3.47), presence of two or more young siblings (AOR, 4.15; 95 % CI: 2.57-6.70), rural residence (AOR,2.11 95 % CI: 2.21-3.68), and not using latrine for disposal of child feces (AOR, 1.90; 95 % CI: 1.12-3.22) were predictors of diarrhea among children under the age of five.

CONCLUSION: The majority of the causes of childhood diarrhea in the study area were preventable. Thus, health extension workers should give tailored health information to mothers or caregivers on the importance of sanitation, personal and environmental hygiene and drinking water handling methods.

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