Nutritional Status of school children and some associated factors in Rupahgwaha irrigated scheme (Chiredzi Zimbabwe)
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This study was conducted in Rupangwana irrigation scheme in the South Eastern "Lowveld" of Zimbabwe (Chiredzi) in the period January to March 1995. The investigation was a cross sectional study of comparing the nutritional status, dietary adequacy and parasitic infestations among children 6-10 years ole belonging to Earents with plots in the irrigation scheme relativE to children whose parents had no plots in the scheme. The nutritional status, dietary adequacy and parasitic infestations were assessed by anthropometry, 24 hour recall and Kato-smear with syringe filtration methods respectively. The percentage of children of families with plots in the scheme that had low weight-for-height and weight-for-age «-2 z-scores) was higher than the control group (P<0.05). The children 0: parents with plots in the irrigation scheme showed a higher caloric intake 1819.08± 86.11 Kcal/day than control children (1025±708 Kcal/day) (RDI=2700kcal/day). The mean protein intake for children of members of the irrigation scheme was 40.16± 10 grams/day while the mean protein intake for-the children of nonmembers of the irrigation scheme was 19.27±10 grams/day (RDI=27grams/day). There was a high prevalence of S.mansoni, S.haematobium, and Ascaris among the children of members of the irrigation scheme than among the children of non-members. Although the participants showed higher caloric and protein intake the result showed that they had a higher prevalence of infection. These results suggest that while irrigation schemes may achieve higher nutrient intake among members the health implication may remove the advantages gained hence reducing the nutritional improvement of the people. The poor nutritional achievement with the better dietary intake may be attributed to higher rates infection arising from the or sanitation in the scheme. The study hence recommends improvement of sanitation in the schemes and de-worming of children while kitchen gardening is encouraged for those outside the scheme to improve the nutrient diversity.