Original Research

Epidemiology and factors associated with diarrhoea among children under five years of age in the Engela District in the Ohangwena Region, Namibia

Maria F. Bauleth, Honore K. Mitonga, Lusia N. Pinehas
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 12, No 1 | a2361 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v12i1.2361 | © 2020 Maria F. Bauleth, Honore K. Mitonga, Lusia N. Pinehas | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 January 2020 | Published: 24 August 2020

About the author(s)

Maria F. Bauleth, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Namibia, Oshakati, Namibia; and, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Namibia, Oshakati,, Namibia
Honore K. Mitonga, School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Namibia, Oshakati, Namibia
Lusia N. Pinehas, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Namibia, Oshakati, Namibia


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Abstract

Background: Diarrhoea remains a public health problem and an important cause of morbidity and mortality amongst children, mainly in low- and middle-income countries. In Namibia, the national prevalence of diarrhoea was 17%; it was responsible for 5% of all deaths in children under 5 years old and is the second leading cause of death.

Aim: The purpose of this study was to assess the epidemiology and factors associated with acute diarrhoea amongst children less than 5 years of age in Engela district in the Ohangwena region, Namibia.

Setting: The study was conducted in Ohangwena Region in Namibia which extends east to west along the borders of the southern part of Angola.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. A structured questionnaire was administered through face-to-face interviews. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the socio-demographic and epidemiological data of diarrhoea and logistic regression analysis was used to determine the factors associated with the prevalence of diarrhoea.

Results: The study found a prevalence of 23.8% for diarrhoea in the 2 weeks period preceding the survey amongst children aged under 5 years. The prevalence of diarrhoea was statistically significantly associated with children (p < 0.05). The strongest predictor of the prevalence of diarrhoea was the residential area ‘informal settlement’, with an odds ratio of 36.42. This implies that children living in the informal settlement are 36.42 times at risk of contracting diarrhoea as compared to those living in other residential areas.

Conclusion: epidemiology; factors; diarrhoea; under-5 years children; Engela district; Ohangwena region; Namibia.


Keywords

COVID-19; pandemic; Nigeria; family physicians; frontline

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