Prevalence, pattern and factors associated with undernutrition among Primary school aged children in Rivers State Nigeria

Authors

  • Osaro B. O Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt Nigeria.
  • Edet C. K Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medical Sciences, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt Nigeria.
  • Ben-Osaro, N. V Department of Adult Education and Community Development, Faculty of Education, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt Nigeria.

Keywords:

stunting, underweight, thinness, wasting, undernutrition, Rivers State

Abstract

Background: Undernutrition among children contributes to the high diseases burden in Nigeria and other developing countries undergoing nutritional transition. It presents as underweight, stunting and thinness/wasting.

Objective: This study looked at the pattern of undernutrition among primary school aged children in Rivers State.

Materials and Methods: This is a cross-sectional descriptive study among primary school-aged children in Rivers State Nigeria recruited through a multistage sampling method. Information on socio-demography, dietary habit and physical activity of the pupils were obtained from parents who gave informed consent while weight and height measurements were carried out directly on assenting pupils. Data was analyzed using IBM SPSS Statistics version 23 and WHO Anthroplus software. Results were presented in frequency table. Test of statistical significance was done at P < 0.05

Results: A total of 465 pupils aged 5 – 13 years participated in the study. Mean age was 8.64 ± 0.113 years.
Twenty-nine (6.2%) of the pupils were stunted, 8 (1.7%) were severely stunted; 19 (4.1%) were thin/wasted and 18 (3.9%) were severely thin/wasted; 12 (3.1%) were under-weight and 4 (1.0%) were severely underweight. Stunting and underweight were associated with type of school, place of residence, class of pupils, occupation and level of education of parents (P < 0.05); thinness/wasting was associated with only birth order (P < 0.05). Undernutrition was not associated with physical activity and dietary habit.

Conclusion: Stunting was the commonest pattern of undernutrition among primary school age children in Rivers State Nigeria followed by underweight and thinness/wasting.

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Published

01-01-2023