Adolescent Morbidity Pattern in Nigeria: Is the Pattern Changing?

Woroma Wonodi *

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria and Department of Paediatrics, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Nigeria.

Tamunoiyowuna Grace Okari

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria and Department of Paediatrics, Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Background: Adolescents make up a large and growing percentage of populations in the world, especially in the developing nations. They have peculiar health needs which are often neglected due to paucity of data from our health institutions and non-implementation of existing adolescent health policies.

Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the morbidity pattern among adolescents attending the Paediatric outpatient clinic of a tertiary health facility.

Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study of adolescents aged 10-17 years seen at the Paediatric Outpatient Clinic (POPC) from first of July to 31st of December 2022. Consent was obtained from parents/caregivers and assent from the adolescents. The socio-demographic data obtained from them as well as the clinical details and diagnoses made by attending physicians were recorded in the study proforma. Data was analyzed with IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 23 and data presented in tables and charts.

Results: A total of 136 adolescents were enrolled in the study with a male: female ratio of 1:1.6. Most 90 (66.2%) were early adolescents, attended private secondary schools and belonged to the middle socioeconomic class. The commonest presenting complaints were body pains 24 (17.6%), convulsion 22 (16.2%) and cough 17 (12.5%). The three commonest diagnoses made were epilepsy 25(18.4%), respiratory tract infections 15 (11%), and sickle cell disease (9.6%).  Non-communicable diseases (61%) were more prevalent, but there was no statistical difference in its prevalence among their socio-demographic characteristics. Eleven (8.1%) had surgical diagnoses such as appendicitis, inguino-scrotal hernia and ganglion.

Conclusion: The morbidity pattern of adolescents in the study consisted of medical and surgical diagnoses. There appears to be a shift in morbidity pattern from communicable to non-communicable diseases among adolescents in the locality and this may be put into consideration in policy formulation for adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent, communicable, morbidity pattern, non-communicable, paediatric outpatient clinic, tertiary health facility


How to Cite

Wonodi , W., & Okari , T. G. (2024). Adolescent Morbidity Pattern in Nigeria: Is the Pattern Changing?. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, 45(6), 154–163. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijtdh/2024/v45i61548

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