Risk factors influencing diarrhoea occurrence among children under five years old in informal urban settlements:A case study of Korogocho, in Nairobi county, Kenya
The main objective of this study was to establish the relationship between risk factors of childhood diarrhea and it’s occurrence in Korogocho slum in Nairobi County. The hypotheses to be tested were; there is no significant relationship between environmental and socio- economic risk factors and the occurrence of diarrhoea among children below five years in Korogocho slum. The study variables included sources and treatment of drinking water, accessibility, type and cleanliness of toilet facilities, levels of education, income and hand washing habits by mothers. Data on diarrhoea outcome and its determinants was based on two week recall and self reporting survey. The households for respondents (mothers of children under five years of age) were selected using systematic random sampling. Every third house hold with a child below five years of age was selected, when there was no child in the third house hold, the researcher went to the next household with a mother of a child below five years until a sample size of 90 respondents was achieved. Data was collected using well designed open ended questionnaires and analyzed using descriptive and chi square statistics. The results showed that community and household environmental factors had a positive impact on diarrhoea of children under five years of age in Korogocho slum. However, access to and sharing of toilet facilities was not found to be statistically significant in occurrence of diarrhoea in children below five years of age . Treatment of drinking water was found to be an effective measure of reducing diarrhoea incidence in children below five years of age since it was found to be significantly associated with it . Socioeconomic factors were also significantly associated with diarrhoea occurrence of children under five years old. For example, childhood diarrhoea did not decrease significantly with higher education of the mothers though hygiene habit of the mother was influenced by the level of education. The study established that washing of hands by mothers was statistically significant in reducing occurrence of childhood diarrhoea. Based on two weeks recall, 36.4% of mothers reported that their children under five years old had suffered from diarrhoea. This prevalence was higher than earlier estimated (31%) by African Population and Health Research Centre in 2006. Based on the results, the study identified several recommendations and suggested areas for further research. The key recommendations are the need to institutionalize deliberate interventions to provide slum dwellers with clean and quality drinking water and proper sanitation facilities to ensure safe and effective disposal of faecal waste.