Prevalence of diarrhoea and its associated factors in children under five years of age in Baghdad, Iraq


Introduction: Diarrhoeal disease is one of the principal causes of morbidity and mortality among children in developing countries. Poor nutrition leads to ill health and it contributes to further deterioration in nutritional status. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Baghdad, Iraq. The study was conducted in three paediatric hospitals and from paediatric departments in other three general hospitals in Baghdad, Iraq. Sample was drawn conveniently, three paediatric hospitals from Baghdad hospital list. 150 respondents were chosen from these paediatric hospitals and 50 respondents were chosen from the paediatric departments in three general hospitals. Results: males had twice the risk of diarrhoea (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1; 3.5). The risk of diarrhoea was 3 times higher among children with mothers who had lower level of education (OR 3.5 95% CI 1.3; 10.1), 5 times higher with unemployed mothers (OR 4.7 95% CI 2.1; 10.4) and 2 times higher with mothers who had poor nutritional knowledge (OR 2.5 95% CI 1.4; 4.9). The risk of diarrhoea was three times higher among children with fathers who had lower level of education (OR 3.3 95% CI 1.7; 6.6). The binomial logistics regression, Mothers’ level of education and employment status, fathers’ level of education, mothers’ nutritional knowledge were used as possible independent associated factors. Conclusion: Children in Baghdad remain at risk of frequent diarrhoea episodes and other complications which might affect their development status. It is becoming increasingly important to focus on improving the underlying factors by increasing the mother nutritional knowledge through special antenatal classes, and improving family economic status.

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Alaa, H. , Shah, S. and Khan, A. (2014) Prevalence of diarrhoea and its associated factors in children under five years of age in Baghdad, Iraq. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 4, 17-21. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2014.41004.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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