Does social status predict appropriate treatment of child diarrheal disease? evidence from Peru
Background: Diarrheal disease is a significant cause of morbidity among Peruvian children. Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) is a cost-effective, evidence-based approach to treat diarrhea in children under 5, yet many children in poorer households do not receive this treatment. In the context of widespread access to ORT in most Peruvian communities and Peru's national health insurance program, this study investigates social determinants of care seeking behavior and appropriate home treatment for diarrheal episodes in a nationally-representative sample of mothers. Methods: We used the Peru 2008 Demographic and Health Survey to: 1) Describe the burden of diarrheal disease among children under 5 Peru, and 2) Identify socioeconomic correlates of health-seeking behavior and utilization/appropriateness of treatment among mothers of children (N=4,778) with recent diarrheal episodes in relation to household socioeconomic status. Preliminary Results: Diarrheal disease prevalence is twice as high among poor (20.0%) compared with wealthier (9.2%) children; and among urban-dwelling (17.0%) compared with rural (13.8%) children. Mother's education and household wealth are significant predictors of seeking care for diarrhea, but not of appropriate home treatment, and this pattern holds in urban and rural areas. Although ORT is widely available, preliminary analysis shows that few mothers know about (35%) and fewer use (13%) it for recent diarrheal episodes. Conclusion: Results confirm that higher wealth and education predict care-seeking, but not appropriate home treatment. Interventions to improve appropriate home treatment of diarrhea should target all mothers regardless of socioeconomic status. Future studies will need to address specific barriers to seeking and utilizing ORT.
Advocacy for health and health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Describe the burden of diarrheal disease (prevalence by age, sex, mother's education, household wealth, & urbanicity) among children under 5 in Peru. Identify socioeconomic correlates of health-seeking behavior and appropriateness/utilization of treatment among mothers of children with recent diarrheal episodes in relation to household socioeconomic status.
Keyword(s): Diarrhea, Child Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am receiving my Masters in Public Health at University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in global health studies. My co-author has been the co-investigator of many funded grants focusing on global health, with a particular focus child health. Currently, she is the co-investigator of a funded study looking at increasing oral rehydration therapy for children under 5 through mHealth interventions in regions in Peru.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.