Infectious Causes of Childhood Disability: Results from a Pilot Study in Rural Bangladesh
G. Khandaker¹²³, M. Muhit4 5, H. Rashid¹, A. Khan4, J. Islam4, C. Jones2 3, R. Booy¹²³
Journal of Tropical Pediatrics (2014)
1: National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance of Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Australia; 2: The Discipline of Paediatrics and Child Health, The University of Sydney, Australia; 3: The Marie Bashir Institute for Emerging Infections and Biosecurity (MBI), Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Australia; 4: Child Sight Foundation (CSF), Dhaka, Bangladesh; 5: Faculty of Public Health and Life Sciences, University of South Asia, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Purpose: To identify the contribution of infectious aetiologies to major childhood disabilities in Bangladesh.
Methods: Active community-based survey was conducted for severe childhood disability using the Key Informants Method between September 2011 and March 2012 in a rural sub-district of Bangladesh.
Results: We screened 1069 children and identified 859 with severe disabilities. The mean age of the disabled children was 8.5 year and 42.9% were girls. The major forms of impairments/conditions were cerebral palsy (n 1⁄4 324, 37.7%), hearing impairment (n 1⁄4 201, 23.4%), physical impairment (n 1⁄4 147, 17.1%), visual impairment (n1⁄449, 5.7%), cerebral palsy with epilepsy (n1⁄439, 4.5%) and epilepsy (n 1⁄4 41, 4.7%). Congenital rubella syndrome was identified in 1.1% (n 1⁄4 9). 7.1% disabilities resulted from clinically confirmed infections, and another 10.8% originated from probable infections; thus a total of 17.9% disabilities were related to an infectious origin.
Conclusions: Infectious diseases appear to be one of the major causes of severe childhood disability in rural Bangladesh.