Diarrhoea is a disease condition of having at least three loose or liquid bowel movements each day. It often lasts for a few days leading to dehydration as a result of fluid and electrolyte losses. The aim of this study was to identify epidemiological factors leading to diarrhoea amongst children (0–5) years in selected hospitals in Makurdi, Benue State. An interviewer structured questionnaire was administered to 377 respondents. This was to enable the identification of certain risk factors that the respondents may be exposed to as well as potentially confounding variables and some basic demographic and clinical information regarding the people and their practices. Out of 377 cases examined, 51 (13.5%) were found positive for diarrhoea, which comprised 17 (13.2%) out of 129 male and 34 (14.3%) out of 248 female children. Highest prevalence was in children between aged 13-24 months, 23 (29.5%) and the least was among children between the aged 49-60 months and ≤ 12 months. There was statistically significant difference (P<0.05) between the ages and diarrhoea. The prevalence was highest in Federal Medical Centre (15.2%) and least was from Bishop Murray Memorial Hospital, Makurdi (9.9%). The findings indicated that hand washing, exclusive breast feeding and other hygienic practices reduce the chances of diarrhoea infection in infants.
Key words: Benue, children, diarrhoea, epidemiological, infection.
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