Ibama Asiton-a Solomon
Federal University of Technology, Nigeria
Ibama Asiton-a Solomon is a research Ph.D student of Public Health (Epidemiology and Disease Control Option) of Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria, using principles of Community Health, Epidemiology and Disease Control in researching, developing and implementing Public/Community Health Programmes/Interventions. He is a visiting lecturer on Use of Standing Orders and Research Methodology, Community Health Offi cers’ Training Programme, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He is also an author of three text books and many other publications in journals of International repute and in Conferences. He is also a peer reviewer of International journals.
Statement of the Problem: Gender had a much wider influence on disease than is usually acknowledged. More so, relative contributions of social and biological factors had not been clearly delineated for many diseases. Higher mortality rates are usually observed in male infants with lower acute respiratory infections (ARIs) and pneumonia particularly during the fi rst month of life than the female infants due to immature lungs in males. The rate declines between 6 and 12 months after birth. The study aims to determine the existence and pattern of relationship between risk of ARI and gender.
Methodology and Theoretical Orientation: The study was designed as a community based retrospective case-control study of 1,100 infants randomly selected from 12 communities out of 6 Local Government Areas of the 3 senatorial districts of Rivers State. A multistage random sampling technique was used in selecting the subjects up to the community level. Descriptive method was used to represent the characteristics of the subjects and the diff erences in ARI between males and female infants were tested in a bivariate logistics regression at 5% level of significance. Odds ratio (OR) were used to interpret the size eff ect measures of ARI on gender differences.
Findings: A total of 275 Cases of ARI and 825 controls were included in the study. Th e ARI cases were found to be slightly higher in infant females (27.8%) than in the infant males (22.4%). For the infants females, the odds for ARI were 1.3 times significantly higher compared to those of their males counterparts (OR = 1.32, p=0.048, 95%CI=1.003-1.735).
Conclusion and Significance: Understanding such differences between male and female infants will enhance the knowledge about the epidemiology, outcome and effectiveness in prevention and control of ARIs.
Recommendation: Awareness creation on gender differences in susceptibility to acute-respiratory infection among infants requires sustainable attention.