RISK FACTORS FOR PERSISTENT DIARRHEA IN THE UNDER FIVE CHILDREN: A CASE CONTROL STUDY
A case control study was conducted over a period of 18 months to identify the risk factors for persistent diarrhea in the under fives. A total of 188 cases with persistent diarrhea and their controls matched by age and place of residence were included in the study. 85.6% of the cases . were under 18 months of age and the peak age of occurrence of persistent diarrhea was between seven and 12 months. Statistically significant association of persistent diarrhea was found with
maternal literacy (OR=4.13 CI 2.62,6.53), lack of breast feeding (OR= 0.25 CI 0.11 ,0.56), severe protein energy malnutrition (OR=2.11 CI 1.31 ,3.3 1), vitamin A deficiency (OR=3.01 Cl 1.75,5.19), non availability of latrine (OR=2.77 CI 1.78,4.31) and use of unprotected water supply (OR=4.61 CI2.60,8.23).
Intervention to improve educational level of women, installation of sanitary fly proof latrines, health education regarding appropriate childhood feeding practices, national efforts directed towards ' the support of breast feeding, vitamin A supplementation, and prevention of HIV/AIDS is suggested to reduce the prevalence of persistent diarrhea and its assoc(ated mortality.
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