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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 8  |  Page : 344-349

The Magnitude of Under-five Emergencies in a Resource-poor Environment of a Rural Hospital in Eastern Nigeria: Implication for Strengthening the House-hold and Community-integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses


1 Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia state, Nigeria
2 Department of Public Health Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo state, Nigeria
3 Department of Anaesthesiology, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia state, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Gabriel UP Iloh
Department of Family Medicine, Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia, Abia state
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.99514

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Background: Under-five in Nigeria are the most vulnerable group that are often challenged by emergency health conditions. Aim: The study was to describe the magnitude of under-five emergencies in a resource-poor environment of a rural hospital in eastern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional hospital-based study of 282 under-five patients with emergency health conditions at a rural Hospital in Imo state, eastern Nigeria. Data extracted included bio-data and diagnosis. Results: A total of 282 under-five emergencies were studied. The ages of the patients ranged from 12 days to 58 months with mean age of 34 ± 9.4 months. There were 153 (54.3%) males and 129 (45.7%) females with male to female ratio of 1.2: 1. The three most common causes of under-five emergencies were acute uncomplicated malaria (29.1%), severe malaria anemia (24.5%), and acute respiratory infections (22.7%). The predominant outcome of emergency admission was discharged home (83.0%). The preeminent cause of death was severe malaria anemia (81.8%). All deaths occurred within 24 hours of hospitalization. Conclusion: The three most common under-five emergencies were infectious medical emergencies and the preeminent cause of death was malaria-related. Strengthening the quality of the Roll Back Malaria Initiative, household and community-integrated management of childhood illnesses will help to reduce these preventable medical emergencies and deaths.


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