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Tropical medicine & international health : TM & IH

Diarrhoea in slum children: observation from a large diarrhoeal disease hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh.


PMID 25039966

Abstract

To determine and compare socio-demographic, nutritional and clinical characteristics of children under five with diarrhoea living in slums with those of children who do not live in slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. From 1993 to 2012, a total of 28 948 under fives children with diarrhoea attended the Dhaka Hospital of icddr,b. Data were extracted from the hospital-based Diarrhoea Disease Surveillance System, which comprised 17 548 under fives children from slum and non-slum areas of the city. Maternal illiteracy [aOR = 1.57; 95% confidence interval (1.36, 1.81), P-value <0.001], paternal illiteracy [1.37 (1.21, 1.56) <0.001], mother's employment [1.59 (1.37, 1.85) <0.001], consumption of untreated water [2.73 (2.26, 3.30) <0.001], use of non-sanitary toilets [3.48 (3.09, 3.93) <0.001], 1st wealth quintile background [3.32 (2.88, 3.84) <0.001], presence of fever [1.14 (1.00, 1.29) 0.047], some or severe dehydration [1.21 (1.06, 1.40) 0.007], stunting [1.14 (1.01, 1.29) 0.030] and infection with Vibrio cholerae [1.21 (1.01, 1.45) 0.039] were significantly associated with slum-dwelling children after controlling for co-variates. Measles immunisation [0.52 (0.47, 0.59) P < 0.001] and vitamin A supplementation rates [0.36 (0.31, 0.41) P < 0.001] amongst children 12-59 months were lower for slum dwellers than other children in univarate analysis only. Slum-dwelling children are more malnourished, have lower immunisation rates (measles vaccination and vitamin A supplementation) and higher rates of measles, are more susceptible to diarrhoeal illness due to V. cholerae and suffer from severe dehydration more often than children from non-slum areas. Improved health and nutrition strategies should give priority to children living in urban slums.