Mikyas Deimssie Woldetsadik, Abera Kumie



Background: Asthma prevalence is expected to increase globally by 50 % every decade.  Respiratory illness, including asthma among children has become a public health concern in Ethiopia.

Objective: To determine the prevalence of symptoms of asthma and associated factors among primary school children in Addis Ababa.

Methods: Cross sectional study was conducted from January 2015 to March 2015 using questionnaire adapted from International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. A total of 20 primary schools were selected randomly from Addis Ababa to collect data from school children. The questionnaires were completed by parents/guardians of the children. Descriptive and analytic methods of data analysis were used.

Results: A total of 1259 primary school children aged 6-7 years were included in this study. The prevalence of ever wheeze, wheeze in the past 12 months, ever diagnosed asthma, exercise induced wheeze in the past 12 months, and dry cough at night in the past 12 months were 13.1% (95 % CI, 11.21% -14.99 %), 8.9% (95% CI, 7.30% -10.50%), 4.1% (95% CI, 2.98% -5.22%), 6.5% (95% CI, 5.09% -7.91%),  and 19.2% (95% CI, 16.99% -21.41%) respectively. Diet (eating pasta ≥3 time per week in the past 12 months) and fuel for cooking (kerosene) were significantly associated with wheezing in the past 12 months.   

Conclusion: The prevalence of wheeze in the past 12 months was high and factors associated with it were eating pasta frequently and use of kerosene as a fuel for cooking.

Keywords: Asthma, Child, Cross-sectional studies, Ethiopia, Prevalence, School

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