Biology and Life Sciences
Received: 02 Aug 2018 , Published: 07 August 2018
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Malnutrition can be defined as a state of nutrition where the weight for age, height for age and weight for height indices are below -2 Z-score of the NCHS reference. It has posed a great economic burden to the developing world. The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence of malnutrition among pre-school children in Mbilla Ward Mayo-belwa in Adamawa state of Nigeria.
The study was a community-based, cross- sectional survey carried out among preschool children (0-5 years) using interviewer data entry form. Anthropometric measurements were taken. Various indices of nutritional status were expressed in mean and standard deviation units (z scores) from the reference.
294 children aged 0 to 5 years were enrolled into this study. One hundred and sixteen (39.5%) were males while 178 (60.5%) were females. The prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting were about 17.7%, 50.0%, 32.3% respectively. Statistical analysis was done using SPSS which shows that there were significant at p>0.05 between the prevalence of malnutrition and socio-demography of the pre-school children.
The findings of the present study revealed the widespread prevalence of undernutrition among pre-school children and highlight a need for nutrition education to mothers on infant feeding, weaning practices and improved sanitation. Therefore, prevention of malnutrition should be given high priority in the implementation of primary health care programmes especially in rural communities and an integrated approach towards improving the child health as well as nutritional status in this area.
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