Predisposing Factors Of Rickets In Infants And Children Under Five Years Admitted At Knh:
Background: Rickets is defined as the softening and weakening of bones in children, usually because of an extreme and prolonged vitamin 0 deficiency. From a few hospital studies including Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), the estimated prevalence of rickets is 50 - 60% amongst children with prematurity or malnutrition. KNH is the largest referral hospital in East and Central Africa and is located in Nairobi, Kenya. Objective of the Study: To find out the major predisposing factors to rickets in children at KNH. Study Design: The study was a cross-sectional study in the paediatrics wards at Kenyatta National Hospital. The study population consisted of infants and children between 3 months and 5 years of age, who were diagnosed and admitted with rickets during the study period. Systematic random sampling was used to obtain a sample of 94 children. The data collected were analyzed using SPSS 12 software. Results: Predisposing factors of rickets in children and infants in this population were found to be: poverty in families and communities, inadequate nutrition and sunlight exposure, malnutrition, mother's pregnancy and postpartum nutritional factors, birth spacing between siblings, age of 4 months to 15 months, prematurity, early weaning to solid food stuffs and short duration of exclusive breast feeding. Some role was played by previous diseases in the children and their mothers.