An assessment of factors responsible for diarrhoea deaths of under five children in rural and urban settings of India

Om Prakash Singh, Jatinder Bir Singh, Dushyant Mishra, Abhik Dutta


Background: Very little scientifically based information is available on cause-specific mortality rates of diarrhoea among all regions and populations wherein an inequitable proportion exits in low-income households, which have fewer resources and less knowledge to manage burden than high-income households. The strategic purpose of the study is to identify gaps in care seeking in order to make changes in approach to address these gaps either directly by working with the community and by doing area specific advocacy to improve service delivery through government channels.

Methods: The study was conducted in nine locations (6 rural and 3 urban) of India. The ethical and confidentiality parameters of conducting verbal autopsies were followed and random sampling methodology was adapted.

Results: Respondents of our study attributed 22% deaths to diarrhoea. From the study, it is revealed that children who passed stool for 5 or more number of times in a day are more likely to die 1.5 times than the children who passed stool for 3 times a day. Children having diarrhoea for 5 days or more than 5 days are more likely to die 1.6 times in comparison to the children who have had diarrhoea for 3 days. Approximately seven of the ten children died within five days of treatment.

Conclusions: Information on diarrheal diseases, its determinants in India and preventive and control strategies in light of recent developments need to be reviewed for better planning and organization of health services within the community.


Diarrhoea management, Verbal autopsies, Treatment of diarrhoea, Rural urban diarrhoea cases, Prevalence of diarrhoea

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