Diarrhea remains a leading killer of young children on the globe despite the availability of simple and effective solutions to prevent and control it. The disease is more prevalent among under – five children (U5C) in the developing world due to lack of sanitation. A child dies every 15 s from diarrheal disease caused largely by poor sanitation. Nearly 90% of diarrheal disease is attributed to inadequate sanitation. Even though, the health burden of diarrheal disease is widely recognized at global level, its prevalence and sanitation predictors among a nomadic population of Ethiopia are not researched. This study was therefore designed to assess the prevalence of childhood diarrheal disease and sanitation predictors among a nomadic people in Hadaleala district, Afar region, Northeast Ethiopia.
A community based cross-sectional study design was carried out to investigate diarrheal disease among U5C. A total of 704 households who had U5C were included in this study and the study subjects were recruited by a multistage cluster sampling technique. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and an observational checklist. All the mothers of U5C found in the selected clusters were interviewed. Furthermore, the living environment was observed. Univariable binary logistic regression analysis was used to choose variables for the multivariable binary logistic regression analysis on the basis of p- value less than 0.2. Finally, multivariable binary logistic regression analysis was used to identify variables associated with childhood diarrhea disease on the basis of adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) and p < 0.05.
The two weeks period prevalence of diarrheal disease among U5C in Hadaleala district was 26.1% (95% CI: 22.9 - 29.3%). Childhood diarrheal disease was statistically associated with unprotected drinking water sources [AOR = 2.449, 95% CI = (1.264, 4.744)], inadequate drinking water service level [AOR = 1.535, 95% CI = (1.004, 2.346)], drinking water sources not protected from animal contact [AOR = 4.403, 95% CI = (2.424, 7.999)], un-availability of any type of latrine [AOR = 2.278, 95% CI = (1.045, 4.965)], presence of human excreta in the compound [AOR = 11.391, 95% CI = (2.100, 61.787)], not washing hand after visiting toilet [AOR = 16.511, 95% CI = (3.304, 82.509)], and live in one living room [AOR = 5.827, 95% CI = (3.208, 10.581)].
Childhood diarrheal disease was the common public health problem in Hadaleala district. Compared with the national and regional prevalence of childhood diarrhea, higher prevalence of diarrhea among U5C was reported. Types of drinking water sources, households whose water sources are shared with livestock, volume of daily water collected, availability of latrine, presence of faeces in the compound, hand washing after visiting the toilet and number of rooms were the sanitation predictors associated with childhood diarrhea. Therefore, enabling the community with safe and continuous supply of water and proper disposal of wastes including excreta is necessary with particular emphasis to the rural nomadic communities.
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