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Original Research

RMJ. 2017; 42(3): 408-413

Role of maternal factors in prevention and management of diarrheal diseases in children under the age of 5 years living in Islamabad, Pakistan

Zafar Hayat Maken, Ali Ghazanfar, Qazi Idress Imtiazuddin, Abdul Wahab, Waleed Malik, Ashbal Bin Yasir, Rabia Mahmood.

Objective: To identify knowledge-practice gaps about management of diarrheal diseases and to ascertain the underlying socioeconomic factors contributing to this gap.
Methodology: We conducted a cross-sectional study in Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad from June 2016 to November 2016. Only those mothers whose children had suffered from diarrhea within the past 3 months and were under the age of 5 years were included in the study through systematic random sampling. Data were analyzed in SPSS version 22.
Results: The mean age of the children was 2.241.49 years. About 37.8% of participants increased water intake and only 12.5% increased dietary intake of their child during diarrhea. Community type was found to be significantly associated with having oral rehydration solution packets at home and knowing where to buy oral rehydration solution. Male children were more likely to be breastfed or given medication during diarrhea. Mothers who tend to seek advice regarding management of diarrheal cases or who knew where to get oral rehydration solution packets were more likely to use some measures to ensure adequate quality of drinking water
Conclusion: There is a lack of maternal knowledge regarding diarrheal management especially in regards to feeding practices during diarrheal episodes. There is a need to introduce and implement plans to increase awareness about diarrheal management.

Key words: Diarrhea, oral rehydration therapy, nutrition, feeding practices.

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