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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1987;81(5):853-9.

Alternative measures of diarrhoeal morbidity and their association with social and environmental factors in urban children in The Gambia.

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Evaluation & Planning Centre, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Diarrhoeal morbidity was studied during a 15-week period of the rainy season in 244 children aged 6 to 35 months in an urban Gambian community. The average prevalence of diarrhoea was 12.0% and the mean number of episodes per child varied between 2.4 and 2.9 depending on the definition of an episode. The number of chronic episodes lasting 14 d or more was tripled when 7 rather than one diarrhoea-free days were required to define a new episode. Neither prevalence nor the number of episodes varied significantly with age or sex. There was little association between the social and environmental characteristics of the children and diarrhoeal morbidity. The implications of using differing measures of diarrhoeal morbidity are discussed.

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