Maternal Environmental Factors as Predictors of Occurrence of Gastroenteritis among Under-five Children in Akure South Local Government Area, Ondo State
Aim: To examine maternal environmental factors as predictors of the incidence of gastroenteritis among under-five children in Akure South Local Government Area, Ondo State.
Materials and Methods: A descriptive study was carried out in two state-owned hospitals between April and August 2019 using a purposive and convenience sample of 120 mothers of under-five children. Data collected were analyzed using PPMC and regression to test the hypotheses at 0.05 alpha level.
Results: The study shows that three out of four environmental predictors were potent predictors of the incidence of gastroenteritis. They include: quality of water source (β = .387, t = 7.638, P < 0.05), method of sewage disposal (β = .508, t = 9.651, P < 0.05) and hygienic practices (β = .341, t = -6.799, P < 0.05), while area of residence (β = -.048, t = 1.008, P > 0.05) was not a potent predictor. Area of residence, quality of water source, hygienic practices and method of sewage disposal had a significant joint contribution used to predict the incidence of gastroenteritis.
Conclusion: Area of residence, quality of water source, hygienic practices and method of sewage disposal all increase the incidence of gastroenteritis when proper attention is not paid to them. Education about handwashing is necessary for mothers and environmental health workers in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Environment should ensure that every house has the proper means to dispose of sewage, especially a septic tank (flush toilet); this will help reduce the disposal of feces in the environment.