Socio-economic factors causing protein energy Malnutrition (PEM) in under five- years- old Children at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya
The study aimed to establish the socio-economic factors associated with PEM in under five-years-old children at Kenyatta national hospital. A total of 118 children aged below 60 months were targeted for the study in the three departments of KNH namely: - paediatrics medical wards, paediatrics outpatient and maternal and child health clinics. A descriptive cross sectional study was conducted. All the children aged below 60 months in the above departments were eligible for the study population from which a representative sample was selected. Purposive, systematic and random sampling was used. Interview was used for data collection and the tools which were utili sed were questionnaires and anthropometric equipments. The data collected was entered into computer packages for analysis and presentation. The SPSS statistical program was used for analysis of the factors while the anthropometric statistical program was used to convert raw anthropometric data into anthropometric indices and then was compared with the National centre Health statistics (NCHS) reference figures. Chi-square test was used for bivariate and logistic regression for multivariate analysis The results ofthe study showed that 59.3% of the study children were underweight, 53.3% were stunted and 33.9% were wasted. The socioeconomic factors found to be associated with childhood PEM in the study were complementary feeding (p=0.003) and times of feeding during illness (0.009). The results of this study would provide baseline data for further studies that would be carried out in the area. The information would be used for planning purposes and also for decision making in order to help implement appropriate strategies aimed at improvement of the overall health and nutrition status of the population. The study recommends awareness creation on health and nutrition as well as sanitation and hygiene.