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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 1021-1028

Influence of social disadvantage among children admitted to the pediatric emergency unit of a tertiary Hospital in Nigeria

1 Department of Pediatrics, College of Health Sciences, Bowen University, Ogbomoso, Oyo-State, Nigeria
2 Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex, Ile-Ife, Osun-State, Nigeria
3 Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Oyo-State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A O Odeyemi
Department of Pediatrics, College of Health Sciences, Bowen University/Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, Oyo-State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_1406_21

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Background: Social disadvantage has an influence on the health of individuals. In developed countries, the prevalence, pattern of social disadvantage, and the outcome of admissions in socially disadvantaged children are under-studied. Aim: To determine the prevalence of social disadvantage, pattern of diseases, and illness outcomes among socially disadvantaged children. Patients and Methods: This was a prospective hospital-based study involving 400 patients who presented at the pediatric emergency unit (PEU) of a tertiary hospital in Southwest Nigeria. Information on socio-demography and history of illness was obtained from consecutive children using a proforma. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 20. Results: The 400 participants comprised 276 male and 124 female giving a ratio of 2.2:1. Their age range was 1–14 years; the mean ± SD age was 4.6 ± 2.3. Three hundred (75%) of the children were socially disadvantaged. The social factors associated with social disadvantage were low income, unemployment of mothers, polygamous setting, single parenting, rural residence, and low registration for health insurance. There was a significant association between social disadvantage and the development of malaria (P = 0.03), pneumonia (P = 0.01), septicemia (P = 0.03), diarrhea diseases (P = 0.04), neonatal jaundice (P = 0.04), meningitis (P = 0.04), and protein-energy malnutrition (P = 0.003). Death was significantly worse among the children who are socially disadvantaged (P = 0.0001). Conclusion: Many children admitted to the PEU in Osogbo are socially disadvantaged. Children of low-income parents, unemployed mother, single parent, residents of rural places, and those without health insurance are more vulnerable to developing infectious disease as well as neonatal jaundice and protein-energy malnutrition. Socially disadvantage increases the risk of poor illness outcome (death).

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