Toxic metal exposure and symptoms of respiratory infection among children (under-five) residing near open dumpsite: a cross-sectional study at Abokobi

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September, 2019.
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The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of symptoms of acute respiratory infection defined as Upper Respiratory Infection (URI), the levels of toxic metals in biological (blood) media, and the association between toxic metals and symptoms of respiratory infection among under five children residing around Abokobi dump site of the Greater Accra Region. Participation in the study was voluntary; based on that, a population of 200 children under five (5) and their parents residing within 200meters around the dumpsite were recruited as participants for the study. Descriptive statistics was used to present data. It came out that, the proportion of self-reported symptoms of acute upper respiratory infection (AURI) was high in children aged 2 years. Also the proportion of children reporting symptoms of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) was higher among children age 3 years. The association between mean concentration of metals in hand washed water in blood and symptoms of ALRI and URI is greater as a result of Hg in hand wash water. However, the mean residue and standard deviation of Hg contributes to ALRI than AURI in blood than in hand wash water. The study therefore recommended public education of good practices in child care should be intensified to avert the development of preventable diseases such as acute upper respiratory infections. Awareness must also be created on proper waste management practices. Also regular checkup must be done for children who live close to dumpsites to avert any health risk they may be exposed to. Finally, Local Government Ministry and the Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources should permanently ban or avoid the use of the dumpsite
A dissertation in the School of Medical Sciences Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for award of a Masters in Environment and Public Health Degree.
Toxic metal, Respiratory infection, Children, Abokobi