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


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.


Malnutrition; children; Nutritional status; Anthropometry.

Full Text:




Asad N, Mushtaq A. Malnutrition in Pakistani children, its causes, consequences and recommendations. JPMA The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. 2012; 62: 311.

Ali SS, Karim N, Billoo AG, Haider SS. Association of literacy of mothers with malnutrition among children under three years of age in rural area of district Malir, Karachi. JPMA The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association. 2005; 55: 550-3.

Stephenson LS, Latham MC, Ottesen EA. Global malnutrition. Parasitology. 2000; 121 Suppl: S5-22.

Nutrition Service of the World Food P. Nutrition in emergencies: WFP experiences and challenges. Food and nutrition bulletin. 2006; 27: 57-66.

Chowdhury AM, Bhuiya A, Chowdhury ME, Rasheed S, Hussain Z, Chen LC. The Bangladesh paradox: exceptional health achievement despite economic poverty. Lancet. 2013; 382: 1734-45.

Gaiha R, Kulkarni VS, Pandey MK, Imai KS. On hunger and child mortality in India. Journal of Asian and African studies. 2012; 47: 3-17.

Hirani SA. Malnutrition in young Pakistani children. Journal of Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad : JAMC. 2012; 24: 150-3.

Joseph B, Rebello A, Kullu P, Raj VD. Prevalence of malnutrition in rural Karnataka, South India: a comparison of anthropometric indicators. Journal of health, population, and nutrition. 2002; 20: 239-44.

Collins N. Assessment and treatment of involuntary weight loss and protein-calorie malnutrition. Advances in skin & wound care. 2000; 13: 4-10.

Dairo MD, Fatokun ME, Kuti M. Reliability of the Mid Upper Arm Circumference for the Assessment of Wasting among Children Aged 12-59 Months in Urban Ibadan, Nigeria. International journal of biomedical science : IJBS. 2012; 8: 140-3.

Sharma KR. Malnutrition in children aged 6-59 months in Mugu district. Journal of Nepal Health Research Council. 2012; 10: 156-9.

Renzaho AM. Food insecurity, malnutrition and mortality in Maewo and Ambae Islands, Vanuatu. Public health nutrition. 2006; 9: 798-807.

Mason JB, White JM, Heron L, Carter J, Wilkinson C, Spiegel P. Child acute malnutrition and mortality in populations affected by displacement in the Horn of Africa, 1997-2009. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2012; 9: 791-806.

Ferdous F, Das SK, Ahmed S, et al. Severity of diarrhea and malnutrition among under five-year-old children in rural Bangladesh. The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene. 2013; 89: 223-8.

Mostafa KS. Socio-economic determinants of severe and moderate stunting among under-five children of rural Bangladesh. Malaysian journal of nutrition. 2011; 17: 105-18.

Smith T, Heywood P. Mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) in relation to other indices of nutritional status in Papua New Guinea. Papua and New Guinea medical journal. 1991; 34: 26-34.

Ubesie AC, Ibeziako NS, Ndiokwelu CI, Uzoka CM, Nwafor CA. Under-five protein energy malnutrition admitted at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu: a 10 year retrospective review. Nutrition journal. 2012; 11: 43.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Zulfiqar Ali Laghari, Ali Muhammad Soomro, Sarfraz Ali Tunio, Khalid Lashari, Farzana Gul Baloach, Nimra Masood Baig, Shaista Bano

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.