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Socio-economic determinants of malaria prevalence among under five children in Uganda: Evidence from 2018-19 Uganda malaria indicator survey

1 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Neelakudi, Thiruvarur - 610005, India
2 Department of Disease Control and Environmental Health, School of Public Health, College of Health Sciences, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda
3 Ministry of Health, Uganda

Correspondence Address:
Ronald Kooko,
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Central University of Tamil Nadu, Neelakudi, Thiruvarur - 610005
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.353251

Background & objectives: Malaria remains a significant public health problem in sub-Saharan Africa, affecting mainly children and pregnant women. In Uganda, little is known about the underlying socioeconomic correlates of malaria prevalence in children under five. This study investigated the link between malaria infection among children under five and the socio-economic factors in Uganda. Methods: We estimated the prevalence of malaria among under-five children using secondary data from the 2019 Uganda Malaria Indicator Survey. Malaria infection status was ascertained using Rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). Multivariable logistic regression was employed to explore the socioeconomic correlates of malaria prevalence. Svyset command in STATA 16.0 was used to control for survey design. Results: Overall, 6503 children were enrolled into the study. Of these, 1516 children tested positive for malaria, leading to an observed malaria prevalence of 23.3%. Older children (OR 1.01, 95%CI 1.01-1.01), and those from rural areas (OR 1.8, 95%CI 1.09-2.84) had higher odds of malaria infection. Children belonging to the highest wealth quintile had lower odds of malaria (OR 0.2, 95%CI 0.08-0.44). Indoor residual spray (OR 0.2, 95%CI 0.10-0.51) and use of treated bed nets (OR 0.8, 95%CI 0.69-0.99) were associated with reduced odds of malaria in children Interpretation & conclusion: Despite the significant increase in malaria preventive interventions in the last 2 decades, malaria remains highly prevalent in Ugandan under five children. Indoor residual spraying and treated bed nets needs to be promoted countrywide to reach malaria control targets. It is also imperative that appropriate education on proper and consistent use of mosquito bed-nets should be emphasized alongside embracing living habits that reduce the chances of mosquito bites like staying indoors.

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