Prevalence of diarrheal illness and healthcare-seeking behavior by age-group and sex among the population of Gaza strip: a community-based cross-sectional study
BMC Public Health
In the Gaza strip, diarrhea is one of main reasons for children visiting primary healthcare centers. Hence, we investigate predictors of the diarrheal illness and health care-seeking behavior among different age groups. Methods: This community-based cross-sectional survey was conducted from August 2017 to June 2018 among 1857 households. A pretested structured questionnaire included information about socio-demographic, sanitation, hygiene, source of water, diarrheal illness, and seeking
... re in households was administered to head of household. To achieve representativeness for the five Gaza's governorates, a cluster random sampling was applied. Results: Of the 1857 household's heads, 421 (22.7%) reported an episode of diarrhea during the 48 h preceding the interview resulting an overall prevalence rate of 3.8 per 100 individuals. The prevalence of diarrhea was statistical significant greater in males (5.4/100) compared to females (1.3/100) in all age groups (p < 0.05). Socio-demographic, economic, water, sanitation, and hygiene factors were predictors of the diarrheal illness and seeking of non-professional healthcare for diarrhea illness treatment among. A transition behavior from professional to non-professional and vice versa in seeking healthcare in each diarrheal episode was found. Conclusions: We recommend improving the status of water, sanitation, and hygiene in the Gaza strip's households to reduce diarrhea among the population of Gaza strip. Community sensitization about the importance of seeking care at primary health centers because treatment of children is available for free or in low costs.