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Open AccessArticle

Hospitalizations and Deaths Associated with Diarrhea and Respiratory Diseases among Children Aged 0–5 Years in a Referral Hospital of Mauritania

Department of Biology, University Mohammed V, Rabat 10010, Morocco
Department of Virology, National Institute of Hygiene, Rabat 10010, Morocco
Institut National de Recherche en Santé Publique (INRSP), Nouakchott 2373, Mauritania
Ministry of Health and University of Nouakchott, Department of Pediatrics, Nouakchott 2373, Mauritania
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WD 98195, USA
Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Ceará, Fortaleza CE60430-140, Brazil
College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, Division of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townville, QLD 4810, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(3), 103;
Received: 29 July 2018 / Revised: 30 August 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 17 September 2018
PDF [388 KB, uploaded 17 September 2018]


Diarrhea and respiratory diseases are the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among <5-year-olds worldwide, but systematic data are not available from Mauritania. We conducted a hospital-based retrospective study. Data on admissions to Mauritania’s National Referral Hospital (the main pediatric referral center in the country), due to diarrhea and respiratory diseases, during 2011–2014, were analyzed. A total of 3695 children <5 years were hospitalized during this period; 665 (18.0%) due to respiratory diseases, and 829 (22.4%) due to diarrhea. Case fatality rates in the respiratory diseases and diarrhea groups were 18.0% (120/665) and 14.1% (117/829), respectively. The highest frequency of deaths due to diarrhea occurred in the age group 2–5 years (16/76; 21.0%), and due to respiratory diseases in the age group 6–12 months (32/141; 22.6%). We conclude that case fatality rates caused by respiratory diseases and diarrhea are extremely high in children hospitalized at the National Referral Hospital. These data call for intensified efforts to reduce deaths among hospitalized Mauritanian children, and also for integrated control measures to prevent and reduce the burden of both diseases. Additional studies are needed to show the effectiveness of the introduction of vaccination programs for pneumococcal diseases and rotavirus infection in the child population, which were launched in November 2013 and December 2014, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: respiratory diseases; diarrhea; hospitalizations; children; Mauritania; deaths respiratory diseases; diarrhea; hospitalizations; children; Mauritania; deaths

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Ahmed, M.L.C.B.; Weddih, A.; Benhafid, M.; Bollahi, M.A.; Sidatt, M.; Makhalla, K.; Mokdad, A.H.; Heukelbach, J.; Filali-Maltouf, A. Hospitalizations and Deaths Associated with Diarrhea and Respiratory Diseases among Children Aged 0–5 Years in a Referral Hospital of Mauritania. Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3, 103.

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