The pattern of communicable disease in patients admitted into the children medical ward of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital

  • BE Otaibge
  • RO Ugwu


Background: Communicable diseases (CD) remain a predominant health problem in sub-Saharan Africa. About half of all deaths in children in sub-Saharan Africa are caused by five preventable communicable diseases: pneumonia, malaria, diarrhoeal diseases, measles, and HIV/AIDS. Considering that most of these can be prevented, it is important to know the existing disease burden with a view to alerting policy makers and health workers on the trend of disease in our environment. Objectives: To determine the pattern of admission of paediatric patients seen at the children\'s ward of the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital and determine those with communicable diseases. Methods: A retrospective study involving data from the admission records from February 2004 November 2005 were collected. Patients were divided into those with communicable and non-communicable disease and those with communicable diseases analysed for this study. Results: A total of two thousand four hundred and fourteen (2414) children were admitted during the period of study. Of these 1935 (80.2%) had communicable diseases and 479 (19.8%) had non-communicable diseases. Those with CD were made up of`1132 males (58.5%) and 803 females (41.5%). The commonest communicable disease was malaria, followed by lower respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, septicaemia and meningitis. Conclusion: Malaria is still the commonest cause of childhood hospital admissions and mortality and so more resources should be put into preventing and controlling malaria.. Vaccine preventable diseases are not among the top five diseases, which may imply a positive impact of the present immunization programme.

Port Harcourt Medical Journal Vol. 1 (3) 2007: pp. 151-155

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