Diarrhoea and its management

A field worker asks mothers about the proper management of diarrhoea, Bauchi, 2011

In 2011, as part of the second evidence-gathering cycle on child health we gathered information about diarrhoea and its management. The study found that two thirds of children in Bauchi (36%) and 9% of children in Cross River state had suffered at least one episode of diarrhoea in two weeks prior to the survey.

We asked caregivers about the proper management of diarrhoea. In Bauchi state, 26% of all children who had diarrhoea in the last month were given more fluids and continued feeding, which is the recommended management of childhood diarrhoea. A similar proportion of caregivers in the state actually knew about or believed in the recommended management of diarrhoea.

In Cross River state, 15% of children with diarrhoea in the last month were given more fluids and continued feeding. About 17% of caregivers knew about or believed in the recommended management of diarrhoea.

In Bauchi, male children were more likely to get the recommended management of diarrhoea compared with girls. Children whose fathers had higher education were also more likely to get the recommended management of diarrhoea.

In Cross River state, children were more likely to get the correct management of diarrhoea by caregivers if they were from a community with an active health committee.

Focus group discussions on diarrhoea and its management

Community focus groups in Bauchi and Cross River discussed reasons why most children are not given more water and continued feeding when they get diarrhoea. Most groups across the two states told us that giving more water during an episode of diarrhoea worsens the condition. Some groups said that children are not given proper management for diarrhoea since mothers are unaware of the correct practice.

The following quotes are from focus groups discussions on diarrhoea and its management in Bauchi and Cross River states.

Return to the child health page.