Nutrition status of preschool children during harvest and lean seasons in a high agricultural production region: the case of urban and rural resource poor households in trans nzoia county, kenya
High agricultural production regions are assumed to be food secure and thus overlooked in regards to food and nutrition security interventions. However, resource-poor households in such regions are likely to suffer malnutrition and be negatively affected by seasonal food availability variations. The main objective of this study was to assess the relationship between nutritional status and season among preschool children from resource-poor households in rural and urban Trans Nzoia County. The study employed an observational longitudinal study design on 90 children under five years from resource-poor households in Kipsongok informal settlement, Kitale town (urban) and Chepsiro sub-location (rural), in Trans Nzoia County. Their nutrition status was assessed using anthropometric measurements before and after the harvest season of the County’s major crop, maize. The education level, occupation and marital status of household heads and primary care givers was obtained and associated with the nutrition status of the preschoolers to determine the degree to which they influenced nutrition status. The dietary diversity of the preschoolers in both seasons was also investigated. The influence of season and residence on nutrition status was tested using statistical procedures of student’s t-test and 2-way ANOVA, at 95% confidence interval. A significantly higher proportion (p=0.019) of care givers in the urban area were married (83.3%) compared to their rural counterparts (65.1%). Rural household heads were more schooled with 33.7 % having completed secondary education compared to 7 % of urban household heads (P=0.013). Similarly, 64% of the urban female care givers completed their primary education compared to 80.2% of their rural counterparts.