Factors associated with diarrhea among under-five children in Zambia

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Hamangaba, Hellen
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University of Zambia
Background Diarrhea is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality, especially among under-five children. Globally, as many as 800,000 children die each year from severe dehydration resulting from diarrhea, with most deaths occurring in developing countries including sub-Saharan region. In Zambia, the 2013-14 ZDHS report showed prevalence of diarrhea being 16% among underfive children and approximately, 15,000 Zambian children under- five years suffer at least three or more episodes of diarrhea every year. The aim of this study was to determine the factors associated with diarrhea among under-five children in Zambia. Methods This was a secondary analysis of the ZDHS 2013-14. A data set with a total of 12,634 children aged between 0-59 months from the women’s questionnaire was analyzed for factors associated with diarrhea. A weighted analysis using STATA version 12 was used. Association between outcome and independent variables was done using Pearson’s chi-square test. Univariate and multivariate analyses were done. In order to control for possible confounding, multiple logistic regression was applied. Results The study showed that age of children [AOR = 2.55, CI (0 .80-0 .91)], vaccination status [AOR = 2.18, CI (1.55-3.10)], residence [AOR = 0.70, CI (0.59-0.84)], mother’s education [AOR = 1.61, CI (0.42-0.89)] and water source [AOR = 0.91, CI (0.09-0.85)] were risk factors associated with diarrhea among the under-five children, after adjusting for other variables. Conclusion Absence of education among mothers and rural residence contributed more to the prevalence of diarrhea than those with primary education above. Implementing and monitoring well-packaged health education and promotion protocols and improving sanitation would reduce diarrhea morbidity and mortality in Zambia
Diarrhea in Children , Diarrhea in Children-Complications , Infants-Diseases , Diarrhea in infancy and childhood