Morbidity Pattern among under Five Children and Preventive Practices of Mothers and Care Givers in Olorunda Local Government Area
Despite several intervention measures to improve child survival, morbidity and mortality rate due to common childhood ailments are still very high in this part of the world. An assessment of preventive practices against occurrence of these diseases would go a long way to mitigate those factors influencing disease occurrences. The objective of the study is to determine the pattern of common ailments among under five years children, and assess preventive practices of mothers and care givers against these diseases. A descriptive cross sectional study of 410 children and care givers in Olorunda local government area of Osun state, using multistage sampling method was carried out. Research instruments used were semi structured interviewer administered pretested questionnaires that were arranged into four sections including anthropometric measurements. Data analysis was carried out using the SPSS software. Morbidity was highest
among the toddlers between the ages of 1-3years. Malaria tends to be commonest presentation 38, 149, and 84 in all age group followed by diarrhea 23, 58, 11. Ratio of male to female distribution of malaria, diarrhea and upper respiratory tract infection was 1:1.1. The educational level of mothers/caregivers significantly affects immunization status of their wards, awareness of and usage of malaria prophylaxis P<0.05 in each case. The general distribution of ailments was malaria with 271 cases, diarrhea with 92 cases, pneumonia with 27 cases and upper respiratory
tract infection with 30 cases. About 101(24.6%) of the children are wasted. and 309(75.2%) of the studied under five children were not. Knowledge about predisposing factors to morbidity includes inadequate breastfeeding (83.7%), poor nutritional status of children (39.0%), poor environmental
sanitation (97.0%) and poor sources of water (99.3%). Prevalence of common childhood ailments was still high, with poor preventive practices among mothers and caregivers of these children. Improving socioeconomic status of mothers and child caregivers would go along way to ameliorate
the problem of high prevalence of childhood diseases. This can be in form of access to various financial empowerment schemes as well as providing regular community health education targeting mothers and child caregivers especially as it has to do with better preventive practices against childhood diseases.
Keywords: Morbidity, mortality, childhood illnesses, preventive practices