A Machine Learning Approach to Detect Dehydration in Afghan Children

Ziaullah Momand, Debajyoti Pal, Pornchai Mongkolnam, Jonathan H. Chan

Child dehydration is a significant health concern, especially among children under 5 years of age who are more susceptible to diarrhea and vomiting. In Afghanistan, severe diarrhea contributes to child mortality due to dehydration. However, there is no evidence of research exploring the potential of machine learning techniques in diagnosing dehydration in Afghan children under five. To fill this gap, this study leveraged various classifiers such as Random Forest, Multilayer Perceptron, Support Vector Machine, J48, and Logistic Regression to develop a predictive model using a dataset of sick children retrieved from the Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey (ADHS). The primary objective was to determine the dehydration status of children under 5 years. Among all the classifiers, Random Forest proved to be the most effective, achieving an accuracy of 91.46%, precision of 91%, and AUC of 94%. This model can potentially assist healthcare professionals in promptly and accurately identifying dehydration in under five children, leading to timely interventions, and reducing the risk of severe health complications. Our study demonstrates the potential of machine learning techniques in improving the early diagnosis of dehydration in Afghan children.

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