Findings from a comprehensive diarrhoea prevention and treatment programme in Lusaka, Zambia


Authors

Bosomprah S., Beach LB, Beres LK, Newman J, Kapasa K, Rudd C, Njobvu L, Guffey B, Hubbard S, Foo K, Bolton-Moore C, Chilengi R.


Journal

BMC Public Health. 2016 Jun 6;16(1):475. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3089-7.


BACKGROUND:

The Programme for the Awareness and Elimination of Diarrhoea (PAED) was a pilot comprehensive diarrhoea prevention and control programme aimed to reduce post-neonatal, all-cause under-five mortality by 15 % in Lusaka Province. Interventions included introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, improved clinical case management of diarrhoea, and a comprehensive community prevention and advocacy campaign on hand washing with soap, exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age, and the use of ORS and Zinc. This study aimed to assess the impact of PAED on under-5 mortality.

METHODS:

The study was a pre-post evaluation design. The Demographic and Health Survey style population-based two-stage approach was used to collect data at the beginning of the intervention and 3 years following the start of intervention implementation in Lusaka province. The primary outcome of interest was an all-cause, post-neonatal under-five mortality rate defined as the probability of dying after the 28th day and before the fifth birthday among children aged 1-59 months. The Kaplan-Meier time to event analysis was used to estimate the probability of death; multiplying this probability by 1000 to yield the post-neonatal mortality rate. Survival-time inverse probability weighting model was used to estimate Average Treatment Effect (ATE).

RESULTS:

The percentage of children under age 5 who had diarrhoea in the last 2 weeks preceding the survey declined from 15.8 % (95 % CI: 15.2 %, 16.4 %) in 2012 to 12.7 % (95 % CI: 12.3 %, 13.2 %) in 2015. Over the same period, mortality in post-neonatal children under 5 years of age declined by 34 %, from an estimated rate of 29 deaths per 1000 live births (95 % CI: (26, 32) death per 1000 live births) to 19 deaths per 1000 live births (95 % CI: (16, 21) death per 1000 live births). When every child in the population of children aged 1-59 months is exposed to the intervention, the average time-to-death was estimated to be about 8 months more than when no child is exposed (ATE = 7.9; 95 % CI: 4.4,11.5; P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:

Well-packaged diarrhoea preventive and treatment interventions delivered at the clinic and community-level could potentially reduce probability of death among children aged 1-59 months.

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