Prevalence of diarrhoea, and associated risk factors, in children aged 0-5 years, at two hospitals in Umuahia, Abia, Nigeria

Adanma Florence Nwaoha, Camelita Chima Ohaeri, Ebube Charles Amaechi


Diarrhoea is the second leading cause of infectious mor­bidity and mortality in children under five years of age. This study aimed at identifying the most common parasites and potential risk factors for diarrhoea among children 0-5 years attending Abia State Specialist hospital and Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, in south east­ern Nigeria. We used 400 faecal samples from children with diarrhoea –and 200 without– in combination with hospital-based case control and a questionnaire Stool samples were processed with direct normal saline and formal-ether sedimentation method for parasitological stud­ies. More males than females were infected in nearly all age groups in both diarrhoeal and control groups (X2=23.04, df=1, P<0.05: X2=11.52, df=1, P<0.05 respectively). Amachara had more infections (X2=0.15, df=1, P< 0.05). January had the highest rate of infection (22.5%). Main clinical features were watery depositions over 3 times a day, diarrhoea lasting for days, fever, vomiting, and dehydration. Mothers learned about the problem through health workers, television and in medical centers. Risk correlated with mother’s education, occupation, latrine type, waste water disposal, hand washing, kitchen cleaning; sources and storage of water; and bottle milk (P< 0.05).Ignorance greatly con­tributed to the spread of parasitic disease in the area: the government should improve education and other strategies to alleviate the spread of the disease..


Diarrhoea; Risk factor; Hygiene; Umuahia; Nigeria

Full Text:



Alexander, K. A., Carzolio, M., Goodin, D.& Vance, E. (2013). Climate change is likely to worsen the public health threat of diarrhoeal disease in Botswana. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10 (4), 1202-1230.

Amaechi, E. C., Ohaeri, C. C. & Ukpai, O. M. (2013). Prevalence of helminthias is among school children in some rural communities of Abia State, Nigeria. Animal Research International, 10(3), 1817-1825.

Anasari, S., Bahadur, S., Parajuli, K.& Paudyal, R. P. A. (2012). Pattern of acute parasitic diarrhoea in children under five years of age in Kathmandu, Nepal. Open Journal of Medical Microbiology, 2,95-100.

Andu, R., Omilabu, S. A., Peenze, I.& Steele, D. (2002). Viral diarrhoea in young children in two districts of Africa. Central African Journal for Medicine,48, 59 – 63.

Black, R. E., Morris, S.S. & Bryce, J. (2003).Where and why are 10 million children dying every year? Lancet, 361, 2226-2234.

Curtis, V., Cairncross, S.& Yonli, R. (2000). Review: Domestic hygiene and diarrhoea –pinpointing the problem. Tropical Medical International Health,5 (1), 26–30.

Fewtrell, L., Kaufmann, R. B., Kay, D., Enanoria, W., Haller, L.& Colford J. M, Jr. (2005) Water, sanitation, and hygiene interventions to reduce diarrhoea in less developed countries:a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infection Disease,5 (1), 42-52.

Fisher Walker, L.C., Perin,J., Aryee,J.M.,Boschi-Pinto,C.&Black,R.E. (2012). Diarrhea incidence in low and middle income countries in 1990 and 2010: A systematic review. BMC Public Health,12.

Gascon, J., Vargas, M., Schellenberg, D., Urassa, H., Casals, C., Kahigva, E., Aponte, J. J., Mshinda, H. & Vila, J. (2000). Diarrhoea in Children under 5 Years of Age from Ifakara, Tanzania. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 38 (12), 4459–4462.

Househam, K. C., Mann, M. D.& Bowie, M. D. (1988). Enteropathogens associated with acute infantile diarrhoea in Cape Town. South Africa Medical Journal,73, 83-87.

Ijioma, M.A. (1993). Abia State Survey. In: Nigeria, Giant in the tropics, Udo,R.K.,&Mamman, A.B (Eds) Vol 2, Gabumo Publishing Co.,Lagos,pp 760-762.

Ishiyama, S., Ono, K. & Rai, S. K. (2001). Study of enteropathogen and its predisposing factors in suburban public school children in Kathmandu, Nepal. Nepal Medical College Journal, 3, 5-9.

Jinadu, M. K, Olusi, S. O., Agun, J. I.& Fabiyi, A. K. (1991). Childhood diarrhoea in rural Nigeria. Studies on prevalence, mortality and socio-environmental factors. Journal of Diarrhoeal Disease Research, 9(4), 323-327.

Jensen, P. K, Ensink, J. H., Jayasinghe, G., van der Hoek, W., Cairncross, S.&Dalsgaard, A. (2002). Domestic transmission routes of pathogens: the problem of in-house contamination of drinking water during storage in developing countries. Tropical Medication International Health, 7(7), 604–609.

Kosek, M., Bern, C. & Guerrant, R.L. (2003).The global burden of diarrhoeal disease, as estimated from studies published between 1992 and 2000. Bull World Health Organization, 81 (3), 197-204.

Mengistie,B.,Berhane,Y. &Worku, A. (2013).Prevalence of diarrhea and associated risk factors among children under five years of age in eastern Ethiopia:A cross sectional study. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine,3, 446-453.

Ogbu, O., Aguumadu, N., Uneke, C. J. & Amadi, E. S. (2008). Aetiology of acute infantile diarrhoea in South Eastern Nigeria: An assessment of microbiological and antibiotic sensitivity profile. The Internet Journal of Third World Medicine,7(1), 2.

Ogunlesi, T., Okeniyi, J., Oseni, S., Oyelami O., Njokanma, F. & Dedeke, O. (2006). Parasitic etiology of childhood diarrhoea. Indian Journal of Pediatric, 73,1081-1084

Ohaeri, C. C.& Odukasieme, O.P. (2011). Survey of geohelminthiasis among primary school children in Umuahia metropolis of Abia State, Nigeria. International Journal of Environmental Health and Human Development, 11(1), 41-45.

Parasher,U.D., Gibson, C.J.,Bresee, J.S. &Glass,R.I.(2006).Rotavirus and severe childhood diarrhoea. Emerging Infectious Disease,12(2), 304-306.

Presterl, E., Zwick, R. H., Reichmann, S., Aichelburg, A., Winkler, S., Kremsner, P. & Granigner, W. (2003). Frequency and virulence properties of diarrhea genic Escherichia coli in children with diarrhoea in Gabon. American Journal of Tropical Medical hygiene, 69, 406-410.

Rao, M. R., Abu-Elyazeed, R., Salvarino, S. J., Naficy, A. B., Wierzba, T. F., Abdel-Messih, I., Shaheen, H., Frenck, R.W., Svennerholm, A. M.& Clemens, J. D. (2003). High disease burden of diarrhoea due to enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli among rural Egyptian infants and young children. Journal of Clinical Microbiology,41, 4862-4864.

Thielman, N. M.& Guerrant, R. L. (2004). Acute Infectious Diarrhoea. The England Journal of Medicine,350(1), 38-47.

Tumwine, J. K, Thompson, J. Katua-Katua, M., Mujwajuzi, M., Johnstone, N.& Porras, I. (2002). Diarrhoea and effects of different water sources, sanitation and hygiene behaviour in East Africa. Tropical Medical and International Health, 7(9), 750-756.

WHO. (2010). WHO recommendations on the management of diarrhoea and pneumonia in HIV-infected infants and children: integrated management of childhood illness. World Health Organization.

Wilson, M. E. (2005). “Diarrhoea in non-travelers: risk and etiology”. Clinical Infection Disease,41 (8), 541–546.

Yassin, K. (2000). Morbidity and risk factors of diarrhoeal disease among under-five children in rural upper Egypt. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics,46 (5), 282-287.



  • There are currently no refbacks.