More than one in every ten (14%) of under-five child deaths is associated with diarrheal morbidity in Ethiopia. Although Ethiopia has implemented different health interventions like its immunization program, childhood diarrhea morbidity, on which literature is limited, continues as a public health problem. Hence, the aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of diarrheal morbidity and associated factors among under-five children in Bahir Dar, northwest Ethiopia.
A community based cross-sectional study was carried out from March 05 to April 03/2015 in Bahir Dar in which 553 mother-child pairs participated. A structured questionnaire was adapted from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ethiopian Demography and Health Survey (EDHS) to collect the data. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were carried out to identify the independent predictors of diarrheal morbidity.
The overall prevalence of diarrheal morbidity was 9.4% [95% Confidence Interval (CI): 4.8, 14.0%]. No receipt of Rotavirus vaccine dose 2 [AOR = 3.96, 95%CI; 2.13, 7.33], non-exclusive breastfeeding [AOR = 2.69, 95%CI; 1.39, 5.19], unavailability of solid waste disposal system [AOR = 2.62, 95%CI; 1.19, 5.77], employed and private business occupational status of mothers [AOR = 2.10, 95%CI; 1.02, 4.31)], and less than Ethiopia Birr (ETB) 600 household monthly income [AOR = 2.10, 95% CI; 1.2, 7.2] were independently associated with diarrheal morbidity.
In Bahir Dar, one in every ten of the under-five children surveyed suffered from diarrheal morbidity. Thus, implementing effective rotavirus vaccination programs, encouraging exclusive breastfeeding and emphasizing appropriate solid waste management would reduce childhood diarrheal morbidity in the region. In addition, the finding suggests that improved child care mechanisms, especially for mothers working outside the home, and efforts to increase household income should be intensified to reduce incidence of diarrhea.