JF Olawuyi, BE Egbewale, LA Anifalaje, EA Okochi



Although diarrhoea is a preventable disease, it still remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among Nigeria children. A Nigerian child under age of five has an average of 4.3 diarrhoea episodes each year. The transfer to 70 million episodes of diarrhoea in children under five, based on the 1991 census. With case fatality rate of 0.4% (1), Nigeria records 300,000 diarrhoea related deaths each year in children under five years of age. This community survey was conducted in the south west of Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara state, Nigeria, to enable us determine care-seeking and diarrhoea management practices in a typical rural setting. Four thousand and sixty one (4,061) children under five year of age from nine villages were studied using the standard WHO questionnaire on diarrhoea case management and morbidity. The survey focused mainly on children who had diarrhoea in the 24-hour period prior to the study. Of the 4061 children who were 5 years or below, 876(21.6%) had diarrhoea two weeks prior to the study. There were 207 children (5.1%) who had diarrhoea within 24 hours prior to the study. The rate of use of salt sugar solution (SSS) was 16%, while that of oral rehydration salt (ORS) was 6%. Seventy three percent of mothers interviewed did nothing for the treatment of diarrhoea, nor understood what to do. 16% used various drugs. 69% of the health facilities in these rural districts used antibiotics as their first line anti-diarrhoea treatment. Health education on oral rehydration therapy (ORT) needs to be intensified at the grassroots level.

Keywords: Diarrhoea, Children, Care, Rural

African Journal Of Clinical And Experimental Microbiology Jan 2004 Vol.5 No.1 119-125