Journal Article

Morbidity and risk factors of diarrheal diseases among under-five children in rural upper Egypt

K Yassin

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 46, issue 5, pages 282-287
Published in print October 2000 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online October 2000 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/46.5.282
Morbidity and risk factors of diarrheal diseases among under-five children in rural upper Egypt

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Diarrhea is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in developing countries. In Egypt, researchers have traditionally been targeting diarrhea-related mortality. This study is an attempt to portray the morbidity and risk factors of diarrhea among children under 5 years old (under-fives) in rural Upper Egypt. The incidence of diarrhea in the 6 months before the study was determined among 1025 under-fives in six sentinel sites by interviewing mothers or caretakers. The association between diarrhea and a set of risk variables was examined using a multivariate logistic regression model. Variables that appeared to have a significant predictive power were then included in a forward wald stepwise logit analysis model to estimate statistical functions which best predict the diarrheal morbidity. The incidence rate of diarrhea was found to be 3.6 episodes per child semiannually and the point prevalence was 19.5 per cent. The average duration of current episodes was 4.8 ± 3.7 days; 33.6 per cent of children had had diarrhea more than three times (recurrent diarrhea). Four variables were found to have a significant association with recurrent diarrhea. The logit coefficients and their significance levels indicated that, in order of contribution to risk prediction, the variables ranked as follows: household meat consumption, mother's age at the time of birth of the child, child's age, and father's illiteracy. A total of 74.8 per cent of overall children were correctly predicted by these risk factors, a figure which indicates the goodness of fit of the model. It is concluded that the diarrheal morbidity is still unacceptably high in rural Upper Egypt. More interventions are needed to control for specific risk factors.

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Subjects: Paediatrics

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