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Diarrhoea and child feeding practices in Saudi Arabia
, A.A.W. Saeed, A.A. Mohammed, A. Othman
Published in
PMID: 12570881
Volume: 5
Issue: 6
Pages: 727 - 731
Objective: The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of diarrhoea in children less than two years old and study the relationship between diarrhoeal episodes and action taken for these episodes by their mothers. Design: The prevalence of diarrhoeal episodes among children and its associations with sociodemographic information and anthropometric measurements of the subjects was examined. Predictive factors for morbidity-associated diarrhoeal disease and actions taken for this were explored. Setting: Primary health care centres (PHCCs) in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Subjects: Children less than two years of age. Results: Nearly a quarter of the children contracted diarrhoea during the two weeks preceding the data collection point, giving about six episodes of diarrhoea per child per year. Diarrhoea was more common in children over 6 months of age, in children who had no vaccination or follow-up cards, and in those who were taken care of by friends and neighbours if their mothers were working outside the home. The mothers of the affected children were young, married before 25 years of age with 2-6 years of formal schooling. During diarrhoeal episodes, about 25% of mothers stopped or decreased breast-feeding, 11.3% reduced the volume of fluids given to their children, and 22.7% of children were fed less solid/semi-solid foods. Mothers used oral rehydration salt in more than 40% of diarrhoeal episodes and unprescribed antibiotics were used in 17% of cases. The mothers who were not taking appropriate action included young mothers with low education level and those working outside the home. Conclusion: Diarrhoea is common in children less than two years old in Riyadh City, and intervention based in PHCCs needs to be undertaken to correct the faulty practices of mothers during diarrhoeal episodes in their children. Health education messages should emphasise feeding during diarrhoeal episodes.
About the journal
JournalPublic Health Nutrition