Document Detail

Epidemiology and predictors of infant morbidity in rural Malawi.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11101024     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
In rural Malawi, 703 newborns were visited monthly for 1 year to describe the epidemiology and health-seeking behaviour during acute episodes of diarrhoea, respiratory infections (ARI) and malaria. On average, the infants suffered from 1.3 annual episodes (11.0 illness days) of diarrhoea, 1.1 episodes (9.4 days) of ARI and 0.7 episodes (4.8 days) of malaria. Multivariate analysis with polychotomous logistic regression indicated that the amount of morbidity was associated with the child's area of residence, weight in early life, number of siblings, father's marital status and the source of drinking water. Diarrhoea and malaria were most common at 6-12 months of age and during the rainy months whereas respiratory infections peaked at 1-3 months of age and in the cold season. Ten per cent of diarrhoea, 9% of ARI and 7% of malaria episodes lasted for more than 14 days. Fifty-eight infants died, giving case fatality rates of 1% for diarrhoea, 2% for ARI and 4% for malaria. One-third (37%) of the illness episodes were managed at home without external advice. A traditional healer was consulted in 16% of episodes and a medical professional in 55% of episodes. If consulted, traditional healers were seen earlier than medical professionals (median duration after the onset of symptoms 0.7 vs. 1.8 days, P < 0.001). Traditional healers were significantly more commonly used by those families whose infants died than by those whose infants did not die (odds ratio 1.8, 95% CI 1.1, 3.0). Our results emphasise the influence of seasonality, care and living conditions on the morbidity of infants in rural Malawi. Case fatality for diarrhoea, ARI and malaria was high and associated with health-seeking behaviour among the guardians. Future interventions must aim at early and appropriate management of common childhood illnesses during infancy.
M Vaahtera; T Kulmala; K Maleta; T Cullinan; M L Salin; P Ashorn
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology     Volume:  14     ISSN:  0269-5022     ISO Abbreviation:  Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol     Publication Date:  2000 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-02-12     Completed Date:  2001-03-01     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8709766     Medline TA:  Paediatr Perinat Epidemiol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  363-71     Citation Subset:  IM    
Medical School, University of Tampere, Finland.
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MeSH Terms
Diarrhea / mortality*,  therapy
Health Behavior*
Infant Mortality*
Infant, Newborn
Malaria / mortality*,  therapy
Malawi / epidemiology
Medicine, Traditional
Nutrition Disorders
Respiratory Tract Infections / mortality*,  therapy
Risk Factors
Rural Population

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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