Trop Med Parasitol. 1992 Dec; 43(4): 229-33.
Risk factors for deaths in children under 5 years old in Bagamoyo district, Tanzania.
Institute for Primary Health Care, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
We conducted a population based case control study of deaths in children < 5 years old from Bagamoyo District, Tanzania, to evaluate factors associated with death, and factors associated with not utilizing Government health care system. Six hundred and ten children who died between 1 July, 1986 and 30 June 1987 were enrolled as cases; 1,160 healthy control children were selected by multistage random cluster sampling. Twenty-five percent of deaths were ascribed to pneumonia based on "verbal autopsy"; 39% of acute respiratory deaths occurred in children < 6 months of age. In a multivariate analysis, significant independent associations were found with mother as sole decision maker for treatment (O.R = 0.13; 95% C:I. 0.07, 0.22); use of water from village well, pond, or river vs. tap water (O.R. = 11.86; 95% C.I., 5.46, 25.72); the child eating with others (O.R. = 9.42; 95% C.I. 5.68, 15.62) and the child sleeping in the room where cooking is done (O.R. = 2.78; 95% C.I. 1.79, 4.33). Overall only 45% of families utilized Government health care (village health worker, dispensary or health centre) during their child's terminal illness. Families utilizing Government health care were significantly more likely to say that the mother alone could make treatment decision (O.R. = 2.49, 95% C.I. 1.39, 4.46), and to be closer to a dispensary. The main reasons for not utilizing Government health care were 'traditional medicine is better' (41%) and 'no drugs available' (38%).