PREVALENCE AND ASSOCIATED FACTORS OF OTITIS MEDIA WITH EFFUSION IN CHILDREN AGED 2-12 YEARS ATTENDING THE PAEDIATRIC CLINIC AT MULAGO NATIONAL REFERRAL HOSPITAL
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Introduction: Otitis media with effusion (OME) is common in children aged between 6 months to 4 years, and it is one of the causes of hearing loss (HL) in children worldwide. OME is one of the most commonly occurring childhood illnesses in the United States of America (USA), with more than 2.2 million diagnosed cases each year. The prevalence of OME reported from the developed countries, USA 15 to 30% in adolescents, 63.9% in Italy. In developing countries, India with 32.3%, and Africa countries, South Africa has a prevalence of 16.5% in children attending a primary healthcare clinic, Nigeria 25.2% in school age children, and Uganda 14.1% in school going children. OME is a type of inflammation of the middle ear in which there is collection of fluid. This later causes HL which interferes with speech and language development, communication skills, school performance, psychosocial skills, and quality of life of children. Objective: The main objective of this study was to determine the burden of OME and its associated factors in children aged 2-12 years, attending the Paediatric Clinic at Mulago National Referral Hospital (MNRH). Methodology: This was a prospective cross-sectional study on OME in children aged 2 to 12 years, attending the Paediatric clinic at Mulago National Referral Hospital from February to April 2019. Consecutive sampling procedure was used to reach each participant under ethical considerations until the sample size was reached. All children aged 2-12 years who met the inclusion criteria were examined first by the Paediatrician and then by the Principal Investigator (PI). Patients with tympanogram type B (flat curve) were diagnosed to have OME. Results: A total of 246 children were recruited into the study. The mean age of the participants was 4.8 (±2.8) years. The prevalence of OME was found to be 11%. Upper respiratory tract infections, recurrent acute otitis media, and snoring were found to be strongly associated with OME. Conclusion: The prevalence of OME among children 2-12 years attending the Paediatric clinic at MNRH was found to be 11%. There is association between OME and URTI, recurrent acute otitis media, and snoring in children aged 2-12 years attending Paediatric clinic at MNRH.