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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 114-120

Knowledge and prevalence of diarrheal disease in a suburban community in north western Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria
2 Sight Savers International, Kaduna, Nigeria
3 Department of Paediatrics, Kaduna State University, Kaduna, Nigeria
4 Department of Community Medicine and Epidemiology, Benue State University, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria
5 Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Victoria Nanben Omole
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, Kaduna State University, PMB 2339, Kaduna
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DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_50_18

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Background: Diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of under-five mortality, accounting for 700,000–800,000 preventable deaths, globally. Most of these occur in rural and suburban areas of developing countries. Correct knowledge about the dynamics of the disease is crucial in arresting and reversing its prevalence. Objective: The objective of the study was to determine the prevalence of diarrheal disease in a suburban community and explore the knowledge of the disease among mothers of children <5 years of age therein. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted among 350 mothers of under-fives in a suburban community. Respondents were selected by multistage sampling method and interviewed using interviewer-administered, closed-ended questionnaires. Results: About 89.4% of the respondents had correct perception of the definition of diarrhea. Over 60% of them had correct knowledge of the cause (s) of diarrheal disease, and none was ignorant of the potential complications. Both point and period prevalences for the disease were 13.14% and 30.29%, respectively, and these were relatively higher than local, regional, and national values. Conclusion: The good knowledge of diarrheal disease observed among respondents was not reflected in the unacceptably high prevalence and frequency of the disease. This may be attributable to the challenges of poor water sources and insanitary environmental conditions. Public health interventions are recommended with particular attention to environmental sanitation and water supply in suburban and rural communities.

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