Food Hygiene

Risk factors for the development of persistent diarrhoea and malnutrition in Burmese children

Khin M, Wai N N, Hman N W, Myint T T and Butler T. Risk factors for the development of persistent diarrhoea and malnutrition in Burmese children.International Journal of Epidemiology 1992; 21: 1021–1029

To identify socioeconomic and behavioural risk factors for development of persistent diarrhoea and malnutrition in children, a case-control study was carried out in Burma. Cases were 67 children 1–59 months old hospitalized for diarrhoea lasting >14 days and complicated by severe malnutrition; for each case, a healthy control child was selected who was age- and sex-matched from the same neighbourhood. Homes of cases and controls were visited for interviews and for direct observation of household child-care practices. Risk factors were catalogued and calculations made for relative risk and etiologic fractions. Risk factors that were associated with persistent diarrhoea and malnutrition included low family income, low education of mothers, unhygienic latrines, flies in the house and on the child, dirty appearance of child and mother, mother not using soap and water when washing child’s hands, defaecation of child on floor, breastfeeding on demand, child eating food from floor, not feeding recommended weaning foods, and lack of knowledge by mother about causes of diarrhoea and about foods that prevent malnutrition. These results indicated that persistent diarrhoea and malnutrition in Burma is caused by a complex of several interrelated socioeconomic factors, unsanitary behaviour pertaining to personal hygiene, the practice of demand breastfeeding and lack of certain weaning foods, and low education of mothers who showed less knowledge about causes of diarrhoea and prevention of malnutrition.

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Written by geraldmoy

March 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm