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Type Journal Article - Journal of Rural and Tropical Public Health
Title Diarrhoea and malnutrition among children in Kenyan district: a correlational study
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
URL http://www.jcu.edu.au/jrtph/vol/JRTPH_Vol10_p35-38_Njuguna.pdf
Background: Diarrhoea is a leading cause of child morbidity and mortality in Kenya. Diarrhoea and malnutrition have been shown to be bidirectionally related. Methods: Monthly diarrhoeal outpatient morbidity among children under five years of age and anthropometric measurements carried out in the community among children under five years of age were analysed for 2009. This information was supplemented by data on latrine coverage and mean distance to water source. Results: Diarrhoea morbidity and being at risk for malnutrition were closely correlated (correlation coefficient = 0.8 after controlling for monthly latrine coverage and mean distance to a water source). A quarter of the children were found to be at risk for malnutrition and the mean monthly prevalence of diarrhoea was 8%. Diarrhoea and malnutrition also displayed a seasonal trend with the highest cases being reported during July, which was also the driest month. Latrine coverage is low with only 12.8% of households having access to a latrine at the end of 2009. Conclusion: In this resource constrained setting, the need to direct funds towards latrine coverage, improvements of nutritional status of children and the availability of potable water. Such a three pronged approach may help reducing diarrhoeal morbidity and malnutrition among childre

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