Ethnographic study of diarrhoeal diseases among under-five children in Mana District, Jimma Zone, Southwest Ethiopia


  • Mirgissa Kaba
  • Fekadu Ayele


Abstract: A cross-sectional design was employed to identify the local cosmology of childhood diarrhoea and its local treatment procedures. A total of 848 under-five children were identified by a quick inventory of randomly selected kebeles. Trained enumerators administered a pre-tested questionnaire in order to identify the socio-demographic and economic aspects of the community, knowledge of diarrhea, and its causes and treatments. Besides, a focus group discussion was employed among mothers whose children were found to have recent history of diarrhoeal attack. The survey data was analysed with SPSS/PC software while the qualitative data was manually analysed.   The majority (66.4%) of mothers/care-takers reported to identify diarrhea by loose, white, watery stool with an episode of at least three times a day. Although 27.6% of the respondents claimed that they do not know causes, 23.4%, 21.6%, and 20.5% have pointed out evil eye, teething, and poor hygiene respectively, to he major causes of the problem.  From the qualitative data, it was found that the type of diarrhea and the remedies to be taken• varied remarkably. Accordingly, there could be frequent loose stool due to "hadji", evil eye, teething, and 'bird'. The degree of concern and type of treatment does accordingly vary. Based on the two weeks recall period, the prevalence of diarrhea among the study community was found to be 33.7%. From the survey result, it was found that diarrhoeal disease is managed by resorting to modern health facilities, traditional healers, and both sectors, interchangeably, by 39.7%, 48.1%, and 10.4% of the respondents respectively.  Although similar studies need to be conducted cross-culturally, one may safely conclude that plans for proper health care delivery should appreciate the underlying cultural ethos of the target population of concern. In the same vein, health education programs may also consider this as a point of departure. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 2000; 14(1): 77-83]  




How to Cite

Mirgissa Kaba, & Fekadu Ayele. (2021). Ethnographic study of diarrhoeal diseases among under-five children in Mana District, Jimma Zone, Southwest Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 14(1). Retrieved from

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