Background: Diarrhea in children is still a public health concern especially in developing countries. In under-five children, diarrhea often presents impairment in growth and development of children. In the present study, we assessed the prevalence of diarrhea and optimal childcare in under-five children in the Nigerian populace.
Method: Cross-sectional data obtained from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) was used for the study. Reproductive women of age 15-49 years were interviewed about socio-demographic factors, and a range of childcare. Prevalence of diarrhea was determined. Logistic regression analysis was used to assess association of diarrhea prevalence, as well as optimal childcare across different socio-demographic factors of children.
Results: The overall prevalence of diarrhea in under-five children in Nigeria was 10.3%. Prevalence was higher in children less than 2 years of age, 57%. Prevalence was also higher among children residing in rural areas and northern part of Nigeria. Other predictors of diarrhea in children included maternal education, source of drinking water, quality of toilet facility and household wealth. Concerning health practices, logistic regression analysis showed that place and region of residence, child's age, maternal education and household wealth were significant determinants of optimal childcare.
Conclusion: With regards to the predominant rate of diarrhea in children less than 5 years old and the attenuated optimal childcare among them, there is a need to facilitated concerted efforts towards effective and efficient public health interventions.