Infant feeding practices, socio-economic conditions and diarrhoeal disease in a traditional area of urban Ilorin, Nigeria.East Afr Med J 1996; 73(5):283-8EA
A cross-sectional study involving 771 children under the age of one year, was carried out in a traditional area of urban Ilorin, Nigeria, to determine how socio-economic conditions and feeding practices relate to diarrhoeal disease among infants. After adjustment has been made (through logistic regression) for covariates, five factors had significant association with diarrhoeal disease. These are the age of the child, parity, mother's education, availability of household kitchen and the feeding of semi-solid food to the infants. The lowest diarrhoeal rate occurred in infants aged 0-3 months while the highest rate occurred among infants seven to nine months old (Odds Ratio = 4.2). Children who were of the fifth or higher birth order had significantly higher risk of diarrhoea when compared with those who were of the first or second birth order (OR = 1.62; P < 0.05). Children of mothers with secondary education had significantly higher risk of diarrhoea compared with children of illiterates (OR = 1.9; P < 0.05). Households that had no kitchen had significantly higher risk of infantile diarrhoea than households with kitchen facilities (P < 0.01). Finally, infants receiving semi-solid food had higher risk of diarrhoea compared to those children not receiving semi-solid food (P < 0.05). Diarrhoeal disease awareness campaign to educate mothers on the dangers of childhood diarrhoea and how to prevent it, through proper hygiene, especially, food hygiene, is advocated.