Incidence of pediatric diarrhea and public-private preferences for treatment in rural Myanmar: a randomized cluster survey

J Trop Pediatr. 2013 Feb;59(1):10-6. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fms033. Epub 2012 Aug 8.


The incidence of pediatric diarrhea in countries neighboring Myanmar is high (>9%). No national data exist in Myanmar, however hospital treatment data indicate that diarrhea is a major cause of morbidity.

Objective: This study seeks to determine diarrhea incidence among children in rural Myanmar and document health-seeking behavior and treatment costs.

Methods: We surveyed 2033 caregivers in households with under-five children, in 104 randomly selected villages in rural Myanmar.

Findings: The incidence of diarrhea in the 2 weeks prior to the survey was 4.9%. Home treatment was common (50.6%); among those who consulted a professional 35.6% went to government clinics, 28.8% to private clinics and 28.0% to a community health worker. The cost of treatment was highest ($15) at government clinics and lowest ($1.3) for self-treatment at home.

Conclusion: Pediatric diarrhea is an important cause of morbidity in rural Myanmar. Self-treatment and treatment by private providers is common.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cluster Analysis
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology*
  • Diarrhea / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fluid Therapy*
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Facilities / economics
  • Health Facilities / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Myanmar / epidemiology
  • Private Sector
  • Public Sector
  • Random Allocation
  • Rehydration Solutions / therapeutic use*
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Rehydration Solutions