Factors determining nutritional status of children in a child survival, protection and development (cspd) program area, Sengerema District, Tanzania.
This study examined household and maternal differential determinants of nutritional status of children aged 18-36 months in a Child Survival, Protection and Development programme area, Sengerema division, Tanzania. A total of 356 children and their mothers from 356 households selected by simple random sampling and systematic random sampling, respectively, were studied. The purpose was to identify potential indicators of child nutr itional status in the area in order to contribute to information required in alleviation of child malnutrition. Data were collected using structured questionnaires, key informant and focus group discussions, and anthropometry. The results indicate that about 52%, 28%, 4%, and 2% of the children are stunted, underweight, wasted, and faltering in growth, respectively. Height for age is positively determined by wealth base per capita (p<0.005), per capita expenditure on nonfoods and maternal height (p<0.05). The significant positive determinants of weight for age are per capita expenditure on non-foods, frequency of child feeding, child morbidity status, and maternal height (p<0.005), per capita wealth base (p<O.Ol), and quality status of living house (p<O. 05), whereas age of weaning is a negative determinant of weight for age (p<0.005). The significant positive determinants of weight for height are child morbidity status, age of the child, per capita expenditure on non-foods, frequency of child feeding (p<O. 005), quality status of living house, maternal Body Mass Index and maternal status of living house, maternal Body Mass Index and maternal marital status (p<O.05). The negative determinants of weight for height are age of weaning (p<O.005) and maternal ownership of an income activity (p<O.05). Weight growth velocity is positively determined by child age (p<O.005), whereas per capita expenditure on food, maternal ownership of an income activity and the reported time mother spends for a return journey to fetch water, are negative determinants of growth velocity. The other factors studied showed either no significant, or non-predictive, association with child nutritional status. It is concluded that activities aimed at increasing household wealth base, reducing child morbidity, and improving water accessibility, quality of living house, maternal nutritional status and weaning practices, and family life education/services should be specific priorities for Sengerema division in order to achieve a substantial improvement in child nutritional status