Determinants of malaria morbidity among children under five years in Uganda
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Malaria is a major public health problem affecting mainly children under the age of five that have not yet, developed partial immunity to overcome severe consequences of the disease. Uganda ranks third in the Sub Sahara Africa region, unfortunately majority of the deaths are of infants and children under age five. This study investigates the determinants of malaria morbidity in children under the age of five in Uganda using findings from the UDHS 2016. At descriptive level of analysis, it was discovered that, majority (34.1%) of the children had malaria morbidity and were aged 15-34 months with a large proportion were from rural areas (78.8%). Half of the children were boys and almost a half (49.0%) of the respondent had their finger/ heel pricked to test for malaria. The study based on secondary data analysis of the Uganda Demographic Health Survey (UDHS) 2016 database of children under-five years of age (0-4, n=15270), which research design measures various variables and can show the relationship and effects between and among variables. Chi square tests were used to establish the relationship between dependent and independent variables, a highly significant relationship existed between Malaria Morbidity and Age in Months, Residence, Blood taken for testing, Malaria Morbidity, Children slept under Mosquito Net, Place where treatment was sought from, wealth status, mother’s education and Region. However, there was no relationship with Child’s Sex, evidenced by P-value >0.005. This clearly portrays that all children were equally at risk of the disease irrespective of their sex. In conclusion, social economic factors like wealth status, place of residence, mother’s education, place where treatment was sought from, pricking finger/ heels for testing had a significant effect on malaria morbidity in children under the age of five years. In addition demographic factors such as age were highly significant with malaria morbidity We recommend the need to support effective responses for reduction of poverty as a way to over to over the malaria burden in children under age 5. This is through Innovative economic programs, education and awareness raising programs. There is also an urgent need for future research on a suitable vaccine for infants and to ensure a close collaboration of donors, national government and NGOs in a bid to extend public intervention to the majority of people in rural area and account majority of the malaria cases.