Risk Factors for Acute Watery Diarrhea among the Under Five in Bentiu Protection of Civilian’s Site, Unity State, South Sudan.
According to current global estimates, 1.7 billion cases of childhood diarrheal diseases occur every year. In Africa, it is estimated that every child, on average, has five episodes of acute watery diarrhea per year and that 800,000 children die each year from the disease. In South Sudan, acute watery diarrhea is the number one cause of death among the under-five age bracket, accounting for 42.9% of the annual mortality rate. The objectives of this research are to determine the socio-demographic factors which influence the occurrence of acute watery diarrhea in Bentiu internally displaced camp, the level of awareness of acute watery diarrhea, and to investigate environmental factors that influence the occurrence of acute water diarrhea. A descriptive cross-sectional study design was applied for this study using a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative data collection approaches. A cluster random sampling procedure was used to select the research participants. A total of 439 respondents participated in the study. The results of the study showed that the education level of the caretakers of the under-five children significantly influences the occurrence of watery diarrhea among the under-five (p-Value = 0.007). Additionally, the sex of the child significantly influences the occurrence of diarrhea among the under-five (p-value = 0.007). Vaccinating children with the Rotavirus vaccine has a significant relationship with the occurrence of diarrhea among under-fives (p-value = 0.000). Water treatment methods also significantly influence the occurrence of diarrhea among under-fives (P value = 0.000). The status and condition of water containers and cups also significantly influence the occurrence of diarrhea among under-fives (p-value = 0.000). The availability of toilet facilities also significantly influences the occurrence of diarrhea among under-fives (p-value = 0.000). Other factors associated with the occurrence of diarrhea among under-five children include personal hygiene of caretakers (0.000), washing hands before feeding (0.000), and exclusive breastfeeding (0.001). Based on these findings, the United Nations and its agencies need to improve sanitation in POCs through the provision of safe and hygienic toilet facilities. The UN and its agencies need to provide effective water treatment methods. International and national organizations providing WASH activities in POCs need to sensitize communities on hygiene and sanitation. The national Ministry of Health, with the state Ministry, needs to provide immunization services, especially Rotavirus antigens, to boost the immune systems of under-fives against diarrheal diseases in Bentiu Protection of Civilian Site. There is a serious need for more studies regarding acute watery diarrhea and the relation of acute watery diarrhea with acute malnutrition.
Keywords: Risk Factors, Acute Watery Diarrhea, Civilian’s Site, South Sudan.