Background:In the United Republic of Tanzania the mortality rate among children under 5 years old is 118 per 1000 live births. The infant mortality rate is 74 per 1000 live births. 19.3 % of the children suffer from underweight and 31.1% are stunted in some districts.
Purpose:The objective of our study was to investigate if selected factors were relevant to morbidity of children under the age of one in Moshi, Tanzania.Thus, we investigated if one or more of the following factors influenced on the number of episodes of illness in the first year of life; (i) the HIV-status of the mother, (ii) the civil status of the mother, (iii) the level of education of the mother, (iv) the birth-weight of the child, and (v) the period of breast-feeding.
Methods:Our material was gathered from journals in two health-clinics in Moshi, Tanzania.The health-clinics were founded in 2002 as a part of the project “Better Health for the African Mother and Child”. We investigated 2653 journals. 1206 journals met our criteria of inclusion, 1447 journals were excluded. We chose to exclude HIV positive children.
Results:A total of 1206 mother-child pair journals were investigated. This included 64 HIV negative children born to HIV positive mothers and 1141 HIV negative children born to HIV negative mothers. The results were analyzed in SPSS. The regression analysis concluded that HIV negative children with HIV positive mothers had 1,6 more episodes of illness than the other children. This is statistical significant (P < 0,05). The same analysis concluded that there was no statistical significant difference between episodes of illness and the other included variables (P > 0,05).
Conclusion:The only significant finding suggests that HIV negative children born to HIV positive mothers have more episodes of illness than other children. There is reason to question the method used, especially the fact that the episodes of illness are based on the mothers own evaluation only.