Morbidity among children living around clinical waste treatment and disposal site in the Northwest region of Cameroon

  • Peter I. K. Mochungong | pkuwoh@health.sdu.dk University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.
  • Gabriel Gulis University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.
  • Morten Sodemann

Abstract

Clinical waste is ineffectively treated and disposed in Cameroon. Disposal sites have unrestricted access and are located within communities. We hypothesize that vector proliferation and exposure to chronic low-level emissions will increase morbidity in children living around such sites. Self-reported disease frequency questionnaires were used to estimate the frequency of new episodes of intestinal, respiratory and skin infections among exposed children less than 10 years. Data was simultaneously collected for unexposed children of the same age, using the same questionnaire. Data reporting by the parents was done in the first week in each of the 6 months study period. The risk ratios were 3.54 (95% CI, 2.19-5.73), 3.20 (95% CI, 1.34-7.60) and 1.35 (95% CI, 0.75-2.44) for respiratory, intestinal and skin infections respectively. Their respective risk differences were 0.47 (47%), 0.18 (18%) and 0.08 (8%). The study revealed that poor treatment and disposal of clinical waste sites enhance morbidity in children living close to such areas. Simple health promotion and intervention programs such as relocating such sites can significantly reduce morbidity.

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Author Biographies

Peter I. K. Mochungong, University of Southern Denmark
Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark
Gabriel Gulis, University of Southern Denmark
Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark
Morten Sodemann
University Teaching Hospital / Institute for Public Health, University of Southern Denmark
Published
2011-03-01
Section
Case Reports
Keywords:
Cameroon, clinical waste, disposal, exposure, pollution, children, morbidity
Statistics
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How to Cite
Mochungong, P., Gulis, G., & Sodemann, M. (2011). Morbidity among children living around clinical waste treatment and disposal site in the Northwest region of Cameroon. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 2(1), e13. https://doi.org/10.4081/jphia.2011.e13