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Prevalence and determinants of morbidity among children under age of five years: a cross sectional study from sub Himalayan region

Author: 
Dr. Akshay Minhas, Dr. Pardeep Bansal, Dr. Vishav Chander, Dr. Seema Sharma and Dr. Mitasha Singh
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: The silent emergency of child under-nutrition is an internationally recognized public health problem. The vicious cycle of social deprivation leading to nutritional deprivation further leading to economic and social deprivation continues in our country. Objective: This present study focuses on water, hygiene, feeding habits and socio cultural factors in relation to morbidity among children less than five years of age of District Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, India. Methodology: A community based cross- sectional study on 2400 children of age less then and equal to 59 months was conducted. Morbidity profile and socio demographic indicators along with other variables were conducted in form of interview. The study was conducted using 30 cluster technique with 80 participants from each cluster of district Kangra. Results: Around 40% of children suffered any type of illness in last two weeks. Females suffered a higher proportion of illness (40.5%). Overall 43.9% using water filter reported illnesses in last two weeks followed by plastic bucket with cover (41.1%). Only 1% of households boiled water for purification. Overall daily bathing emerged as a protective factor from illnesses (OR: 0.79; 95%CI (0.64-0.98)). It was observed that as reported intake of regular fruit, green vegetables, biscuits, cerelac and packaged fruit juices were associated with increased risk of illness in last two weeks. Conclusion: Socio economic status and area of residence are directly or indirectly linked to Safe Water access, sanitation practices, feeding habits and socio cultural practices of a family. All the above in turn affect health of a child. Hence all the interlinked practices need to be emphasized upon.

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