Assessment of factors associated with malaria prevalence among children under five in Karamoja
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Globally, malaria is the leading cause of mortality among children and Uganda has the sixth highest number of annual deaths from malaria in Africa with Karamoja region having the highest malaria prevalence among children aged 6-59 months. Therefore, the present study specifically assessed factors associated with malaria prevalence among children under five in Karamoja region. The study used 2016 Uganda Demographic Heathy Survey data collected by UBOS where data related to that study for Karamoja region were sorted and analysis at univariate, bivariate and multivariate levels using STATA version 15. A total of 272 children under five years that were tested for malaria using RDT from the 7 districts of the region were considered for the study. Results showed that slightly half (50.74%) of the children considered in the study were females and majority (60.74%) were aged 3-5 years. Over 86% of the children were from rural areas and 92.28% of the children were from poor households. About 55% of the children their households were headed by males and majority (67.27%) of the children their mothers had not attained any form of education. Results of malaria RDT test showed that 70.22% of the children tested positive with malaria. As far as malaria prevention measures are concerned, majority (65.44%) of the children`s household reported owning treated mosquito nets though majority (62.13%) of the children did not sleep under treated mosquito nets and none of the households had practiced indoor residual spraying to prevent mosquitos. Bivariate results showed that malaria prevalence in children under five significantly depended on household wealth index, and mother`s education level and a binary logistic regression model revealed that malaria prevalence among children under five in Karamoja region was significantly associated with household wealth index where children from poor household had higher odds of testing positive with malaria. According to the research, I recommend that the government and other stake holders such as NGOs should provide some incentives (grants) in form of income to karamoja region people as this would provide improve the wealth index hence affordability of preventative measures of malaria such as insecticides and treated mosquito nets. Facilitated workshops to combat malaria should be conducted in karamoja region as this will help to educate the people hence attain new ideas of combating malaria and also advancing on the already existing measures. Education of karamoja people should also be highly emphasized as this will help educate people about malaria, its consequences and how to combat it. According to research, I recommend public sensitization by government and other stakeholders like NGOs about the malaria prevention and control measures in Karamoja region in order to combat the high prevalence of malaria in the region and emphasizes need for the government to provide more treated mosquito nets to household in Karamoja region especially the poor families whose reported high odds of children under five testing positive with malaria. He further recommends more study on the malaria prevalence and factors associated among pregnant women in the region since they could also at a high risk of suffering from malaria as children under five do.