Risk factors of mortality in severely-malnourished children hospitalized with diarrhoea

Risk factors of mortality in severely-malnourished children hospitalized with diarrhoea

Diarrhoea is one of the most important causes of death in the world. Globally, more than 10 million children die each year, of which about 1.5 million die from diarrhoea. Diarrhoea and malnutrition are common in young children in developing countries, and a reciprocal relationship has been postulated between diarrhoea and malnutrition. Malnutrition is a determining factor for duration of diarrhoea but not incidence. In Bangladesh, diarrhoea is a major cause of child mortality. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (2004), 36,000 children aged less than five years (under-five children) die due to diarrhoea each year. According to the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2007, 10% of under-five children had diarrhoea in two weeks before the survey.

The aim of this study is to determine the specific risk factors of mortality associated with diarrhoea among severely-malnourished children aged less than three years hospitalised for diarrhoea.

This study finds that septicaemia, pneumonia, and hypothermia are high risk factors of death among diarrhoeal children with severe malnutrition. However, this fatality could be prevented by early use of antibiotics and supportive care.

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