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Mass media exposure and childhood diarrhea: a secondary analysis of the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey
Authors: Alam Z, Higuchi M, Sarker MAB, and Hamajima N
Source: Nagoya Journal of Medical Science, 81(1): 31-40; DOI: 10.18999/nagjms.81.1.31
Topic(s): Child health
Mass media
Country: Asia
Published: FEB 2019
Abstract: In order to reduce child mortality, recommendations for diarrhea management practices have been widely promoted by various methods, including mass media. This study examined whether mother's exposure to mass media was associated with child's diarrhea, and with the diarrhea management practiced by their mothers. Data on 7,068 women, whose youngest child was under five years old, were extracted from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, 2011, together with information on the child. The outcome variables were an episode of diarrhea in the two weeks prior to the survey and diarrhea management practices; exposure to mass media was used as the major explanatory variable. They were descriptively summarized, and logistic regression analyses were performed. Television was found to be the most common form of media. Among 346 children who had experienced an episode of diarrhea in the previous 2 weeks, less than 42.5% were given zinc and only 26.3% of the mothers provided sufficient fluids. No significant associations between mother's mass media exposure and child's diarrhea were observed. Women who read newspapers/magazines were more likely to provide sufficient fluids and food, and those exposed to the radio were more likely to provide zinc supplementation. Since mother's exposure to newspaper/magazines and radio showed associations with some recommended practices for the treatment of childhood diarrhea, mass media clearly has the potential to improve diarrhea management practices. More effective use of mass media is anticipated; in particular, promotion of zinc supplementation and increasing fluid intake during diarrhea, neither of which were currently well practiced. KEYWORDS: Bangladesh; Demographic and Health Survey; child; diarrhea; mass media; oral rehydration therapy; zinc