Prevalence and predictors of oral rehydration therapy, zinc, and other treatments for diarrhoea among children under-five in sub-Saharan Africa

Ahinkorah, Bright Opoku, Aboagye, Richard Gyan, Seidu, Abdul-Aziz, Frimpong, James Boadu, Cadri, Abdul, Afaya, Agani, Hagan, John Elvis, and Yaya, Sanni (2022) Prevalence and predictors of oral rehydration therapy, zinc, and other treatments for diarrhoea among children under-five in sub-Saharan Africa. PLoS ONE, 17 (10). e0275495.

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Background: Despite the evidence-based effectiveness of diarrhoea treatment in preventing diarrhoea-related child mortality, the accessibility and utilization of diarrhoea treatments remain low in sub-Saharan Africa, even though these treatments are available. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the prevalence and predictors of diarrhoea treatment among under-five children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: This study involved cross-sectional analyses of secondary data from the most recent Demographic and Health Surveys of 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Percentages with their respective 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to summarise the prevalence of diarrhoea treatment. A multivariable multilevel binary logistic regression analysis was employed to examine the predictors of diarrhoea treatment among children under five years in sub-Saharan Africa. The regression results were presented using adjusted odds ratio with their accompanying 95% confidence intervals. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Stata software version 16.0 was used for the analyses.

Results: The overall prevalence of diarrhoea treatment among under-five children in sub-Saharan Africa was 49.07% (95% CI = 44.50–53.64). The prevalence of diarrhoea treatment ranged from 23.93% (95% CI = 20.92–26.94) in Zimbabwe to 66.32% (95% CI = 61.67–70.97) in Liberia. Children aged 1 to 4 years, those whose mothers had at least primary education, those whose mothers had postnatal care visits, those whose mothers believed that permission to go and get medical help for self was a big problem, and those whose mothers’ partners had at least primary education were more likely to undergo diarrhoea treatment as compared to their counterparts. The odds of diarrhoea treatment increased with increasing wealth index with the highest odds among those in the richest quintile. Also, the odds of diarrhoea treatment was higher in the Central, Eastern, and Western geographical subregions compared to those in the Southern geographical subregion. However, children whose mothers were cohabiting, those whose mothers were exposed to watching television, and those living in female-headed households were less likely to undergo diarrhoea treatment.

Conclusion: The study found that the prevalence of diarrhoea treatment among children in sub-Saharan Africa was relatively low and varied across countries. The sub-regional estimates of diarrhoea treatment and identified associated factors can support country-specific needs assessments targeted at improving policy makers’ understanding of within-country disparities in diarrhoea treatment. Planned interventions (e.g., provision of quality and affordable supply of oral rehydration salts and zinc) should seek to scale up diarrhoea treatment uptake among under-five children in sub-Saharan Africa with much focus on the factors identified in this study.

Item ID: 77633
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2022 Ahinkorah et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Research Data:
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2023 01:58
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420606 Social determinants of health @ 100%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200401 Behaviour and health @ 100%
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