Background Acute diarrhea is a major public health problem in the world. Next to pneumonia, it is the leading cause of death in children under five years old. Globally, even though childhood diarrhea disease kills millions, the interaction of socio-demographic, behavioral, and environmental factors of acute diarrhea in children aged 6–59 months is not investigated yet in the current study area. Objective To determine behavioral and environmental predictors of acute diarrhea among under-five children from public health facilities of Siyadebirena Wayu district, North Shoa, Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia, 2019.
Methods A facility-based unmatched case-control study was conducted from March 12, 2019, to May 12, 2019. A total of 315 under-five children were included in the study (105 cases and 210 controls). A systematic random sampling technique was used to select study participants. Data were collected by a structured questionnaire and analyzed by using SPSS. To analyze the data, bivariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis was used.
Results The study showed that average family monthly income of 12–23 USD (AOR = 6. 22; 95% CI: 1.30, 29.64), hand washing practice of mothers/ care givers with water only (AOR = 3.75; 95% CI: 1.16, 12.13), improper disposal of infant feces (AOR = 11.01; 95% CI: 3.37, 35.96), not treating drinking water at home (AOR = 9.36; 95% CI: 2.73, 32.08), children consuming left-over food stored at room temperature (AOR = 5.52; 95% CI: 1.60, 19.03) and poor knowledge of the respondents about the risk factors for diarrhea were the determinants that significantly associated with acute childhood diarrhea.
Conclusion The potential predictors of childhood diarrhea morbidity were improper hand-washing practice, not treating drinking water at home, unsafe disposal of children’s feces, children consuming left-over food stored at room temperature, and having poor knowledge about the major risk factors for diarrhea. Thus, awareness of the community on hygiene and sanitation focusing on proper handling of human excreta, safe water handling, proper hand washing practice, and proper management of leftover food should be enhanced to prevent children from acute diarrhea diseases.