Effects of Children Diarrhoeal Diseases on Farmers’ Households Resilience in Ewaso Narok Swamp, Laikipia County, Kenya
Ng’etich, Vincent Kipkirui
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The growing food insecurity in East Africa has led to an expansion of cultivation to wetland sites. Individuals use them for farming, which may expose them to the risk of contracting diseases. Disease can have wide-ranging implications on households, which has been addressed by this study. The main research focus was to determine the effects of children under the age of five years diarrhoeal disease on farmers‟ households‟ resilience in Ewaso Narok Swamp. A cross-sectional analytical study design was employed. Quantitative study entailed household questionnaires being administered in the two stratified zones in Ewaso Narok Swamp. Eastern zone comprised Thome/ Jenning area whereby 211 households were sampled and the western zone along Sosian/ Maralal road whereby 211 households were sampled making 422 households. Qualitative data collection, mainly to supplement quantitative data, entailed five household members being selected in both sides of the stratified zones for participation in Focus Group Discussions. Key Informant Interviews were also held with health care providers. An ordinal logistic regression model was fitted in order to determine both the diarrhoeal diseases effect on health and productivity on farmers‟ household resilience in Ewaso Narok Swamp. The study showed that the child under five year old diarrhoeal disease incident rate was 0.65. Ordinal logistic regression results revealed a statistically significant relationship between diarrhoeal diseases effect on health and farmers‟ household resilience. The chi square statistic indicated statistically significant relationship between typhoid fever (χ=4.659, p=.034<0.05) and farmers‟ household resilience. Also, the chi square statistic further indicated statistically significant relationship between amoebic dysentery (χ=3.194, p=.050<0.05) and farmers‟ household resilience. Diarrhoeal diseases effect on productivity losses revealed excessive time losses by breadwinner caregivers attending to the sick child as well as study time lost by school going children, acting as caregivers, were also very high. Ordinal logistic regression revealed a statistically significant relationship between diarrhoeal diseases effect on productivity and farmers‟ household resilience. The chi square statistic indicated statistically significant relationship between lost time taking care of the sick (χ=5.002, p=.013<0.05) and farmers‟ household resilience. Thus, various household forewent income reduction due to time losses as a result of absenteeism from their workplaces which negatively affected their overall productivity. The study concluded that majority of the households were less resilience to diarrhoeal diseases with 273 (64.7%) of the farmers‟ households had low resilience to diarrhoeal diseases, 89 (21.1%) had mid resilience to diarrhoeal diseases while 60 (14.2%) had high resilience to diarrhoeal diseases. It was also established that there is a statistically significant relationship between diarrhoeal diseases effect on both health and productivity affects farmers‟ household resilience in Ewaso Narok Swamp. In summary, households should adopt mechanisms that best enable them to tackle stressful situations associated with diarrhoeal disease expenses through effective use of both financial and psychological coping strategy. Effective health policy decision making requires a concise picture of diarrhoeal disease burden in order to priorities allocation of resources. Thus, the results will inform health policy makers in achieving the universal health coverage. It will also inform health policy in achieving SDG number three (Good Health and Well-being) as outlined in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.