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Free Content Animal livestock and the risk of hospitalized diarrhoea in children under 5 years in Vietnam

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Objective  To investigate the association between environmental exposure to livestock and incidence of diarrhoea among Vietnamese children.

Methods  A population‐based cohort of 353 525 individuals, living in 75 828 households in Khanh Hoa Province, Vietnam, with baseline data covering geo‐referenced information on demography, socio‐economic status and household animals was investigated. Geographic information system was applied to calculate the density of livestock. The data were linked to hospitalized diarrhoea cases of children under 5 years recorded at two hospitals treating patients from the area as inpatients in the study area.

Results  Overall, 3116 children with diarrhoea were hospitalized during the study period. The incidence of diarrhoea hospitalization was 60.8/1000 child‐years. Male gender, age <2 years, higher number of household members and lack of tap water were significantly associated with an increased risk of diarrhoea. There was no evidence that ownership of livestock increased the risk of diarrhoea. In spatial analysis, we found no evidence that a high density of any animals was associated with an increased risk of diarrhoea.

Conclusions Exposure to animals near or in households does not seem to constitute a major risk for diarrhoea in children under the age of 5 in Vietnam. Public health interventions to reduce childhood diarrhoea burden should focus on well‐recognized causes such as sanitation, personal hygiene, access to adequate clean water supply and vaccination.

Language: English

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1:  Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki, Japan 2:  Khanh Hoa Health Service Department, Nha Trang, Vietnam 3:  National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Hanoi, Vietnam

Publication date: 2012-05-01

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