MALNUTRITION AMONG CHILDREN UNDER FIVE YEARS IN DISTRICT SANGHAR, SINDH, PAKISTAN

Zulfiqar Ali Laghari, Ali Muhammad Soomro, Sarfraz Ali Tunio, Khalid Lashari, Farzana Gul Baloach, Nimra Masood Baig, Shaista Bano

Abstract


Background: Malnutrition is a major public health problem in developing countries resulting in a high mortality rate (~60%) in children less than five years age. The malnutrition also appears to be a wide spread phenomenon in Pakistan. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of malnutrition in children under five in District Sanghar, Pakistan.
Material & Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out in flood affected areas of district Sanghar, Sindh, Pakistan. A total of 511 randomly selected children were assessed for malnutrition by measuring the middle of the Upper Arm Circumference. The status of malnutrition and data of socio-economical conditions were collected by interview through structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS software. Categorical variables such as socio-economic status, religion and caste were examined using frequency distribution; whereas continuous variables such as age and middle of the Upper Arm Circumference were examined using frequency distribution and descriptive statistics.
Results: Out of 511 children, 66.1% (n=338) were affected by malnutrition. Further analysis into the mild (≤13.5 cm), moderate (11.5-12.5 cm) and severe malnutrition (<11.5 cm) was carried out. The data demonstrated that 43.2% (n=221) children had mild malnutrition, 65 12.7% (n=65) suffered from moderate malnutrition and 10.2% (n=52) had severe malnutrition. Severe malnutrition was significantly higher (p<0.05) in female than male children. Malnutrition was significantly higher in younger age 6-23 months than in older children 24-59 months (p<0.05).
Conclusion: The present study demonstrates that overall prevalence and severity of malnutrition in female children is higher than male children.

Keywords


Malnutrition; children; Nutritional status; Anthropometry.

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References


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