Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


Background: Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death especially among children. The age-proportionate mortality of diarrheal disease in infants under 2 years is 72%, among children under 5 years of age. Children living in urban slums are more prone to develop diarrhea. Although the disease can be prevented by many simple cost-effective interventions, i.e. proper sanitation and hygiene, appropriate feeding, and timely vaccination, poverty and lack of basic life amenities often potentiate diarrhea mortality. Gadap town is the largest town of Karachi with a deprived health system. This study aims to assess pediatric diarrhea prevalence and related knowledge-practice gaps in the slums of Gadap Town, Karachi, Pakistan.
Method: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted from November 2016 to May 2017 among mothers of children under 2 years, who were residents of Gadap Town, Karachi, Pakistan. The participants were approached by a multistage sampling method. A validated dichotomous questionnaire, piloted on 40 participants, translated into local language Urdu was used for data collection and the data was analyzed by SPSS® version 20.0.
Results: 51.8% (n = 199) of participants were aged between 25 and 34 years. Among all participants, 68% (n = 261) had primary level education or less, compared to 4.7% (n = 18) of women who had graduate-level education. The mean number of children per woman was 2.52 ± 1.62. Self-reported pediatric diarrhea incidence was 72.1% (n = 277). More than half (55.2% n = 149) of participants reported frequent diarrhea episodes during the 2nd year of their child's life. In this survey, we found the knowledge of women regarding diarrhea management and how to reduce diarrhea morbidity to be inadequate (p > 0.05). However, many women reported appropriate practices which can significantly reduce diarrhea morbidity (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: While the knowledge among women on preventive measures for pediatric diarrhea was insufficient, the translation of the right knowledge into appropriate practices showed promising outcomes for reducing diarrhea morbidity. An integrated approach for improving feeding, sanitation, and hygiene practices along with continuous health education could curtail the burden of diarrhea among infants living in urban slums


Volume, issue, and pagination are not provided by the author/publisher

Publication (Name of Journal)

Maternal and child health journal

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.