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Association of sociodemographic and household characteristics with non-fatal burns among children under the age of 10 years in Sudan: an exploratory secondary analysis of the Sudan Household Health Survey 2010


Background Globally, children have the highest mortality rates from fire-related burns. Sudan is no exception, but there had been no prior investigations of potentially preventable risk factors. We undertook this analysis to investigate the role of various sociodemographic and household factors.

Methods We used Sudan Household Health Survey 2010 data from a national stratified multistage cluster sample of 15 000 households. The dependent variable was whether the child had a non-fatal burn in the 12 months preceding the survey, based on the most recent injury. The independent variables tested were age, gender, urban/rural residence, wealth index, disability, mother's education and work, cooking fuel, cooking place, electricity in the house and crowdedness. A multivariable Poisson regression model with robust variance was used, and hypothesised interactions were tested.

Findings Of 26 478 children under the age of 10 years, we identified 47 with injury caused by fire or hot substance. A significant association was found with child age (prevalence ratio (PR)=0.65, 95% CI 0.50 to 0.84). There was a significant interaction between area of residence and cooking place; cooking outdoors or elsewhere in the house was associated with burns in urban areas (PR=10.426, 95% CI 1.99 to 54.69) but not in rural areas. There was no evidence of an association with maternal factors or with cooking fuel.

Conclusions The findings imply more potential for separate cooking facilities in preventing burns among children in Sudan than does a change in cooking fuel, although more evidence needs to be gathered, particularly around safety practices.

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