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Open Access Research article

Under five diarrhea among model household and non model households in Hawassa, South Ethiopia: a comparative cross-sectional community based survey

Fekadeselassie Berhe1* and Yemane Berhane2

Author Affiliations

1 Hawassa University College of Medicine and Health Science, Hawassa, Ethiopia

2 Addis Continental Institute of Public Health, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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BMC Public Health 2014, 14:187  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-187

Published: 20 February 2014



Ethiopia has been implementing a community-level health intervention package (referred to as “Health Extension Program”) to improve the health of children in particular.

However, its effect on the major childhood illnesses in Ethiopia has not been studied. This study was conducted to determine whether a fully-implemented health extension program reduces diarrhea in children under the age of five.


A Community-based comparative cross-sectional study was carried out by comparing model households (i.e. households that fully implemented the health extension package) with non-model households (i.e. households that did not fully implement the health extension package). The study participants were mothers having children under the age of five. Data were collected through a household survey. A multiple logistic regression model was used to control known confounders.


After controlling potential confounding factors using a logistic regression model, under five year children residing in non-model households, were more likely to have diarrhea in the two weeks preceding the survey compared to those residing in model households [AOR: 2.65, 95%CI (1.11, 6.27)].


Diarrhea among under five children significantly reduced among families who fully implemented basic health packages. The finding suggests that being a model HH can have a positive impact on diarrhea morbidity among under five children.

Under five diarrhea; Model household; Health service extension program; Hawassa