Determinants of Diarrhea Among Children of Less than Five Years in Balochistan, Pakistan
Keywords:Diarrhea; Multiple indicator cluster survey; MICS; Risk factors; Balochistan; Pakistan
Background: Diarrheal diseases are a global health problem that is of great importance for the health of children in developing countries. Identifying the various factors influencing the onset and subsequent treatment is necessary to design effective and robust public health initiatives. Methods: For this crosse-sectional, case study research design was used. After merging, out of 10,432 children, 10170 observations were matched. Furthermore, data was analyzed with 9411 observations by using STATA-12. For the analysis of a two-way table based on complex survey data, the Wald statistic has been used. For multivariate analysis, logistic regression for survey data was done. Result: The risk of diarrhea among children under 5 years of age in Balochistan was 21.56%. The results of bivariate analysis revealed that seven factors were found statistically significant association between diarrhea and area, region, household wealth index quintiles, main source of drinking water, households’ main material of floor, material available for washing hand and education of household head. The odds ratio suggests that children in rural areas were 80% more likely to improve risk of diarrhea than its urban counterpart [OR=1.8, 95% CI:1.21-2.7; p= 0.004]. Children of Makran region 66% more likely have chance of having diarrhea than children of Quetta region [OR=1.66, 95% CI: 0.95-2.89; p=0.073]. The final multivariate logistic regression model was constructed with selected explanatory variables which had p-value ≤ 0.25. Conclusion: This study showed an increased risk of developing diarrhea in children in rural areas. Children of Sibi, Kalat, Zhob and Makran divisions were separately at risk of developing diarrhea. Considering age, the maximum threat of diarrhea among children was aged 12-35 months. The MICS 2010 survey data of Balochistan provides a picture of factors significantly associated with risk of diarrhea at provincial level and can be useful for policy making at national level.