oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - A study of household disease burden and its associated factors in a rural population of a desert district in India : original research
In order to strengthen local health policies, a study was initiated to measure the burden of disease (BOD) at local household level in a rural population in a desert district in India. The association of selected variables with BOD at household level was investigated in an attempt to reduce BOD through easy-to-execute public health measures. Nine hundred households from 30 villages were surveyed. BOD percentages (BOD%) according to age- and sex-based distribution in households were found to be increasing with age, up to the age of 45 years, and across this age spectrum BOD%s was lower among females than males; this trend was, however, reversed in favour of males in persons older than 45 years. Among the BOD% shared by dichotomised variables determined for each household, cattle-keeping inside houses was found in 93% of the households, as opposed to keeping cattle outside houses. This significant variable was followed by water storage pattern (91%), sharing of sleeping space (76%), economic status (90%) and non-cemented houses (73%), all with high statistical significance at p<.01. Primary-level education registered a lower significance (p<.05; >.01) with a share of 62%. BOD% of electricity provision and sanitation practices did not reach statistical significance (p>.05) in this setting. Thus the first three variables with significant association with BOD listed above were identified as priority targets against which easy-to-execute measures could be instituted by health authorities.
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