The prevalence of malnutrition among children 6-59 months and some selected maternal associated factors in Busia Sub-district in Tororo District, Uganda
MetadataShow full item record
Malnutrition continues to be a major public health problem of considerable concern in developing countries. Food intake and disease are considered as immediate causes of the problem, aggravated by poor hygiene and sanitation. However, even in the presence of the above factors, poor childcare practices of mothers and other caregivers are of paramount importance. In Uganda, despite having plenty of food, the prevalence of malnutrition has not changed much from the findings of UDHS 1988/89 and those of (UDHS, 1995). To contribute to the body of knowledge, a cross-sectional survey was carried out in January-March, 1997 in Busia, Uganda. It aimed at providing information on the nutritional status of children and the associated maternal characteristics in the study area. A total of 359 children and their mothers from 359 households were included in the study. The collected data was cleaned, screened and analysed using SPSS/PC+ and Anthro programme to calculate the Z scores. The overall rate of malnutrition was 32.3%, 26.6%, and 12.2% for stunting, underweight and wasting respectively. The mean body mass index of the mothers was 21.1. About 8.8% of the mothers were malnourished with a BMI of 18.5 and below; 73.9% of the mothers were normal while 17.3% were obese. Malnutrition was not significantly associated with the three child nutritional variables (p> 0.05). However, it was significantly associated with nutritional status of the mother (p=0.02). The only predictor for stunting the reasons mothers reported for weaning (p=0.02). There was no significant factor contributing to underweight of the children in the study area. The predictors for wasting were nutritional status of the mother (p=0.02), and their education level (p=0.02). However, better nutritional status of the mother has a positive impact on child nutritional status. Recommendations from the findings of the study were that educational programmes through MCH on weaning practices be enhanced, nutritional programmes in already existing institutional facilities be improved and emphasis be placed on education of the girl child. This will keep the girls at school, hence reduce the number of young mothers in the study area. Mothers should be encouraged to visit health clinics and also be assisted through "Entandikwa" to set up income generating activities.