Food hygiene practices of mothers of under-fives and prevalence of diarrhoea in their children in Oghara, Delta state
Diarrhoea remains one of the major public health problems in developing countries. The objective of this study was to investigate potential factors of food hygiene practices of mothers in the home on the prevalence of diarrhoea among under five children in Edjemuonyavwe community, Oghara, Delta State. This descriptive cross sectional study was carried out among 495 mothers with children aged 6-59 months in a rural community of southern Nigeria. Selection of participants was by multistage sampling technique. Tool for data collection was interviewer administered semi structured questionnaire which sought information on age, occupation and educational status of the mother; history of diarrhoea in the child and food hygiene practices of the mother. Data was analysed using SPSS version 13 statistical soft ware. The prevalence of diarrhoea among the under fives was 43.4%. The rate of diarrhoea was higher among children of mothers who prepared child's food on the floor (45.5%) than thosewho prepared it on the table (40.7%), and those who used only water for hand washing (48.2%) than those who used soap and water (40.3 %). There was no relationship between the prevalence of diarrhoea and the mothers' age. The rate of diarrhoea decreased with increasing order of the child's position in the family (p=0.19). Although not statistically significant, there was an association between the prevalence of diarrhoea andmothers' educational level (p=0.49 ) and occupation (p=0.10 ). The prevalence of diarrhoea was considerably high among the under fives. Mothers' food hygiene habit was associated with the development of diarrhoea among their underfives. Health educations on diarrhoea and food hygiene practices need to be intensified at the community level to improve mothers' food hygienic practices.