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Open Access February 25, 2022 Endnote/Zotero/Mendeley (RIS) BibTeX

Prevalence and Determinants of Acute Respiratory Infections among Children under Five Years in Rural Settings of The Gambia: Evidence from a National Survey

Abstract Background: Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) generally describe a group of infections caused by a range of organisms whose site of action includes the nostrils, through the pharynx to the alveoli. ARIs are reportedly key contributing factors to childhood morbidities and deaths, with a higher impact on children less than the age of five years. This paper aimed at exploring the prevalence [...] Read more.
Background: Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) generally describe a group of infections caused by a range of organisms whose site of action includes the nostrils, through the pharynx to the alveoli. ARIs are reportedly key contributing factors to childhood morbidities and deaths, with a higher impact on children less than the age of five years. This paper aimed at exploring the prevalence of ARIs and their contextual determinants among children less than 60 months of age in the rural settings of the Gambia. Method: The Gambia Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) in 2019-20 was used for this study. Data were obtained from 1364 rural women aged 15-49 with children less than 60 months through a stratified two-stage cluster sampling approach. Percentages and chi-square tests were used and variables with p-value <0.15 were included in the model. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to assess the predictors of acute respiratory infection at 95% confidence interval (CIs) with computed adjusted odds ratios (aORs). All the study data were analyzed using Stata version 17. Results: The weighted prevalence of ARIs among children under 60 months of age in the rural Gambia was 37.1% with 95% CI (34.5% - 39.6%). The magnitude of ARI was higher among children 25-60 months age group (38.6%), male children (38.9%) unvaccinated children (42.9%), and those whose fathers and mothers were not working at 60.5% and 38.7%, respectively. In the adjusted model, children whose mother had primary education (aOR=0.65, 95% CI= 0.46-0.91), currently non-breastfed children (aOR=1.40, 95% CI= 1.09-1.79) and those whose father were not working (aOR=2.65, 95% CI= 1.47-4.17) were found to be associated with ARIs among children less than 60 months in The Gambia. Conclusion: The prevalence of ARI was moderately high across children under 5 years of age in rural Gambia, low mother’s educational levels, and unemployed fathers. The program must consider improvements in the quality of care provided to children in both primary, secondary and tertiary healthcare levels in rural settings. Partner support and adapting community-based supporting systems on child health strategies should be strengthened especially in rural settings.
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Keyword:   Precious Chidozie Azubuike

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