Determinants of child health in a rural Karakoram village

  • Spenta Kakalia CMH Lahore Medical College
  • Shaheena Bashir Lahore University of Management Sciences
  • Arouj Waqqas
  • Adnan Khan
  • Rahat Malik
  • Saba Saif Assistant Professor Medicine CMH Lahore Medical College Lahore, Pakistan
Keywords: Child Health, Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan, Food Insecurity

Abstract

Background: Mountain communities have unique issues, being generally geographically remote, and politically and socially neglected. The objective was to evaluate the health and healthcare access of children in Tissar, a mountain village in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Subjects and methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted in August 2021, in Tissar, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), in Northern Pakistan. Interviews were conducted of adults over the age of 18 years, who had at least one child of age12 years and below, using a convenience sampling method. Descriptive summary statistics were computed using statistical software R version 4.1.2. Poisson regression was used to find potential risk factors associated with diarrhea and pneumonia.

Results: Semi-structured interviews were conducted on 400 participants. Although 363 (90.8%) people grew their own food; 203 (50.7%) still needed to purchase food with only 213 (53.2%) receiving up to three meals a day. Access to healthcare was perceived as inadequate, with only 42 (10.5%) satisfied with the healthcare their children were receiving. Up to 268 (67%) needed to borrow money or could not afford healthcare. Annual occurrence of diarrhea and pneumonia was reported in 100% households, most reporting repeated episodes in one year per child. On Poisson Regression, number of meals per day was negatively associated with diarrhea (rate ratio=0.646, 95%CI=0.591-0.706, p<0.001), adjusted for weaning. Number of meals per day was also negatively associated with pneumonia (rate ratio 0.529, 95%CI=0.487-0.574, p<0.001), adjusting for education and number of children in the family (>6 versus <6).

Conclusion: Health of Children needs to be addressed in mountain communities in Pakistan.

 

Author Biographies

Shaheena Bashir, Lahore University of Management Sciences

Associate Professor

Department of Paediatrics

Lahore University of Management Sciences

Arouj Waqqas

Assistant Professor

Department of Paediatrics

CMH Lahore Medical College

Adnan Khan

Associate Professor

Department of Mathematics

Lahore University of Management Sciences

Rahat Malik

Professor, Department of Paediatrics

CMH Lahore Medical College

Lahore, Pakistan

Published
2023-02-16
How to Cite
1.
Kakalia S, Bashir S, Waqqas A, Khan A, Malik R, Saif S. Determinants of child health in a rural Karakoram village. J Fatima Jinnah Med Univ [Internet]. 16Feb.2023 [cited 20Apr.2024];16(2):94-9. Available from: https://ojs.jfjmu.com/index.php/ojs/article/view/984