Prevalence, risk factors and treatment practices in diarrhoeal diseases in south India

Nitin Joseph, Punya Suvarna, S. Hariharan Bharadwaj, K. S. Dhanush, Fathima Raeesa, K. K. Mohamed Jasir, Nita Joseph, Shashidhar M. Kotian, Sharada Rai

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study was done to determine the risk factors, management practices and awareness about diarrhoea. Methods: It was a cross sectional study done in a semi urban and rural areas of South Canara district of India in February 2013. A total of 167 households (575 study population) chosen systematic randomly were visited and one adult member in each house was interviewed. The houses were also inspected to assess the living conditions. Results: Mean age of study population was 31.1 ± 20.2 years. The period prevalence of diarrhoea was 69 (12 %). Commonest associated symptoms in cases of diarrhoea were fever 30 (43.4 %) followed by abdominal cramps 29 (42 %). Nearly half of the cases with diarrhoea 34 (49.3 %) did not take any medications. Commonest treatment taken was allopathic medicines 26 (37.8 %) followed by home remedies 8 (22.9 %). Age ≤10 years (p < 0.001) was associated with risk of developing diarrhoea using binary logistic regression analysis. Among the 167 participants, awareness level about the disease was poor among 16 (9.6 %) and moderate among 149 (89.2 % participants). Awareness level was more among females (p = 0.001) and literate participants (p = 0.013). One hundred and sixteen (69.5 %) participants were not aware of any sign or symptom of dehydration other than loose stools. Majority of the participants 138 (82.6 %) preferred home remedies as the initial management of diarrhoea. Misconception about fluid restriction in diarrhoea was stated by 12(7.2 %) participants. Conclusion: Public education program on proper feeding and management practices is required to address the various issues identified and for containment of diarrhoea cases in future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-257
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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