Background: Diarrhea is one of the major contributors to deaths for under age five children in Ethiopia. Studies conducted in different countries showed that rural children are highly affected by diarrhea than urban children [11, 26, 27]. Thus, the purpose of this study was to identify the socio-demographic, environmental and behavioural risk factors of the prevalence of diarrhea among children age under five years in Rural Ethiopia.
Methods: Data for the study was drawn from the 2016 Ethiopia Demographic and Health Survey. A total of 8,041 under-five children were included in the study. Bivariate and multivariable binary logistic regression were employed for the analysis of the data to assess the relationships between the prevalence of diarrhea and socio-demographic, environmental and behavioural risk factors among under five children. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 23.
Results: The multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that younger mothers’ children and child’s age 6-11 months (AOR: 3.5; 95% CI: 2.58-4.87), 12-23 months (AOR: 3.1; 95% CI: 2.33-4.04) and 24-35 months (AOR: 1.7; 95% CI: 1.26-2.34) were significantly associated with diarrhea. The two week prevalence of diarrhea was also significantly associated with male children (AOR: 1.3; 95% CI: 1.05-1.58), Children in rural Afar and Gambela regions, households who shared toilet facilities with other households (AOR: 1.4; 95% CI: 1.09-1.77), higher birth order number and households with 3 or more under-five children interacted with older mothers (AOR: 4.7; 95% CI: 1.64-13.45).
Conclusion: The prevalence of diarrhea among under-five children was strongly associated with younger mothers, child’s age between 6-35 months, male children, children in rural part of Afar and Gambela regions, children with higher birth order numbers, those who shared toilet facility with other households and households with 3 or more number of under-five children interacted with older mothers/primary caregivers. Thus, in order to reduce childhood diarrhea, I suggest that child’s health care programs and other efforts in Ethiopia should give special attention to those categories of children who had highly affected by diarrhea.