Determinants of acute diarrhoea in children aged 0 – 5 years in Uganda

  • R Ssenyonga
  • R Muwonge
  • FBN Twebaze
  • R Mutyabule

Abstract

Background: Diarrhoea disease remains one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. Using a large national dataset, this study determines it’s prevalence and identifies some of the determinants in one of these countries, Uganda.
Objective: To establish the prevalence and determinants of acute diarrhoea in children aged 0 – 5 years in Uganda.
Design: Cross-sectional study using the 2000/2001 Uganda Demographic and Health Survey (UDHS) dataset.
Subjects: Information was derived from the women’s questionnaire done on sampled mothers aged 15 – 49 years and with living children aged 0 – 5 years.
Results: Overall prevalence of diarrhoea in children aged 0 – 5 years was 23.8%. The Northern and Eastern regions of the country had the highest prevalence of diarrhoea in children (29.3% and 26.9% respectively). Independent determinants of diarrhoea were: age-group below two years, Northern and Eastern regions of residence, and children with history of fever in the two weeks preceding survey. Mother attaining secondary
or higher level of education, covered well or borehole as source of drinking water, and duration of breastfeeding less than six months, were found protective factors.
Conclusion: According to results of the UDHS 2000/2001, every two weeks, one in four children in Uganda is affected by diarrhoea. Factors associated with increased diarrhoea include: age-group one to two years, children living in Eastern and Northern parts of the country, and children who had fever within those two weeks. Factors associated with reduced diarrhoea incidence include: mother’s education level higher than primary school, covered well or borehole as family source of drinking water, and duration of
breastfeeding less than six months.
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