BackgroundGlobally, diarrhea is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among less than 5 years old children and it contributes to the deaths of approximately one million children every year. In Ethiopia, diarrhea is the second cause of under-five mortality and morbidity. However, in the study area, studies were limited. Therefore, this study has assessed the prevalence of diarrhea and associated factors among < 5 years of age in Jamma district, Northeast Ethiopia.MethodsA community-based cross-sectional study was conducted from August 15 to September 15, 2017, in Jamma district, South Wello zone, northeast Ethiopia. A Systematic random sampling technique was used to select 614 households and a pretested structured questionnaire was used to collect the data. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to investigate factors associated with diarrheal disease. Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) with the corresponding 95% Confidence Interval (CI) for variables with P-value < 0.05 was used to show statistically significant association.ResultsIn this study, the prevalence of diarrhea among under-five children was 23.1% (95% CI: (19.4, 26.5). Child’s age 6 to 23 months [AOR: 2.46, 95% CI: (1.49, 4.05)], Living in rural area [AOR: 2.75, 95% CI: (1.33,5.66)], absence of latrine [AOR: 4.80, 95% CI: (2.39,9.60)], absence of handwashing facility [AOR: 2.45, 95% CI: (1.53,3.93], unprotected drinking water source [AOR:2.68, 95% CI: (1.54,4.68)], and Improper waste disposal practices [AOR:3.86, 95% CI: (2.38,6.26)] were associated with diarrhea disease.ConclusionThere was a high prevalence of diarrheal disease among children in the study area. Child age, rural residence, availability of latrine and handwashing facility, source of drinking water, and improper waste disposal were notably associated with childhood diarrheal disease. Therefore, improving handwashing practices and pure water supply, proper waste disposal including the availability of latrines would minimize the burden of diarrheal disease.