Risk factors influencing typhoid fever occurence among the adults in Maina slum, Nyahururu Municipality, Kenya
Kibiru, Andrew Benjamin
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Typhoid is a disease of public health importance which affects people of all walks of lives in urban, per-urban and rural areas. Water borne diseases, typhoid included kill about five million babies annually and make one sixth of the world population ill. It is estimated that globally about 17 million cases of typhoid fever occur annually causing 600,000 deaths. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 12.5 million persons each year. In Kenya the prevalence of typhoid fever is less than one per cent annually. In Maina slum it was reported that in 2005 the prevalence rate was at five per cent. The general Objective of the study was to investigate risk factors influencing the occurrence of typhoid fever among the adults in Maina slum within Nyahururu municipality in Laikipia district. The specific objectives were to establish the level of typhoid fever in the study area based on the knowledge of people on typhoid, to establish risk factors associated with the prevalence of typhoid fever among adult in the study area and to determine the effectiveness of water and sanitation interventions in reduction of typhoid fever. The study site was Maina slum in Nyahururu municipality, Laikipia district. The study design used in this study was descriptive cross sectional design. The method used to determine the prevalence of typhoid was a laboratory diagnostic method in this study. The data collection methods used included open ended and closed structured questionnaires, key informant interviews and Observational checklist while sampling methods used were simple random sampling and systematic random sampling. The results showed that the prevalence of typhoid was found to be 6.3%. The risk factors which were revealed by the study included low education level, leaking drainage systems, the type of houses used, water pollution and eating food from commercial kiosks among others. The effective water and sanitation interventions in place were connection of piped water in Maina slum for individuals to connect to their houses, provision of health facilities and application of health education to the residents among others. This study concludes that typhoid fever increased by 1.3% in duration of five years from 2005 to 2009. There were 198 (56.6%) who felt that they had suffered yet they had used self diagnosis through experience they had acquired about the disease over the years hence they could have misdiagnosed themselves. The 6.3% prevalence was established through questionnaires yet the evidence that the respondents had suffered was the positive medical laboratory results shown as well as being on medication. This indicates that the risk factors were still persistent and that there were no effective control measures in place. Typhoid fever being a potential life threatening illness caused by a bacterium Salmonella typhi it is necessary to engage effective intervention measures. Therefore an understanding of factors that influence the occurrence of typhoid fever in Maina slum, Nyahururu Municipality in Laikipia district was important in the management of the typhoid fever hence the basis of this study.