Factors associated with practices towards diarrhoea prevention among caretakers of children under five years in Lwengo district, Uganda.
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ABSTRACT Introduction: Diarrhoea remained the second leading cause of death among children under five years globally. It killed more young children than Aids, malaria and measles combined. Uganda remained among the 15 countries that accounted for almost three quarters of all deaths from diarrhoea among under five children. This study investigated caretakers‟ knowledge, attitude, practices and associated factors towards prevention of diarrhoea in children under five years since a few studies had been previously done. Lwengo district had a high turn up of patients seeking treatments for water borne diseases and of which over seventy percent were children under five years. The knowledge, attitudes, practices and associated factors by caretakers towards prevention of diarrhoea in Lwengo among children under 5 years was unknown. Methodology: A community based cross sectional study design was conducted. The study was done from April to May, 2018 among 458 caretakers of children under five years of age. Multistage sampling technique was employed in order to select the study areas and study units. Standardized interview questionnaires were adapted and modified from related articles and journals to collect data on the socio demographic variables and factors associated with it. Five focus group discussions were done in Lwengo and Kyazanga to establish other underlying factors. Data was entered into excel. Statistical software package then exported to SPSS software package version 13.0 for further analysis. Results: A total of 458 participants were included in the study. Of these, the response rate was 100.0%. The mean ages of caretakers and under five children was 31.25 years and 2.49 years respectively. Among caretakers, 82.75% had formal education and 91.92% were in the second quantile. Prevalence of diarrhoea morbidity over 14 days‟ period preceding the study was 52.4%. Two hundred seventy nine of the 458 caretakers (60.92%) had good knowledge about diarrhoea prevention in children under five years, two hundred fifty six of 458 caretakers (55.9%) of them had good attitudes towards prevention of diarrhoea in children under five years and eighty three of 458 caretakers (18.12%) had good practice towards diarrhoea prevention in children under five years. Factors independently associated with good practices towards diarrhoea prevention were caretakers that were knowledgeable about diarrhoea prevention in children under five years (Adj.OR=1.85, 95% CI=1.18-2.92),caretakers that had positive attitudes towards diarrhoea prevention (Adj. OR=1.26, 95% CI=0.87-1.83), caretakers that reported having had no diarrhoea in children under five years prior to the study (Adj.OR=1.50, 95% CI=1.02-2.23) and caretakers that were in the second wealth quantile (Adj.OR=1.78, 95% CI =1.07-2.96). Conclusion: Caretakers‟ knowledge, attitudes and practices towards prevention of diarrhoea was not satisfactory. Occurrence of high burden of diarrhoea in children in Lwengo district was found to be associated with knowledge levels among caretakers about prevention of diarrhoea in children under five years, attitudes, wealth index, hygiene and sanitation practices. Appropriate behavioural change interventions could lead to significant changes in caretakers‟ practices in diarrhoea prevention in children.