image of Poultry Ownership Associated with Increased Risk of Child Diarrhea: Cross-Sectional Evidence from Uganda
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Domestic animals have been associated with enteric infections in young children and can also be carriers of respiratory viruses. We conducted a cross-sectional assessment of health outcomes in children aged < 5 years associated with animal presence among 793 rural households in Uganda. We recorded the 2-week prevalence of diarrhea and respiratory infections in children, and the number of cows, poultry, sheep/goats, and pigs in the household. We used generalized linear models with robust standard errors to estimate the prevalence ratio (PR) for diarrhea and respiratory infections associated with households owning the above- versus below-median number of animals. We conducted unadjusted and adjusted analyses controlling for socioeconomic, water, sanitation, and hygiene indicators. Children in households with the above-median number (> 5) of poultry had 83% higher diarrhea prevalence than those with ≤ 5 poultry (adjusted PR = 1.83 [1.04, 3.23], = 0.04). Children in households with the above-median number (> 2) of cows had 48% lower prevalence of respiratory infection than those with ≤ 2 cows (adjusted PR = 0.52 [0.35, 0.76], < 0.005). There were no other significant associations between domestic animals and child health. Studies should assess if barring chickens from indoor living quarters and sanitary disposal of chicken and other animal feces can reduce childhood zoonotic infections.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 07 Jan 2019
  • Accepted : 10 Dec 2019
  • Published online : 20 Jan 2020
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