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2010 (Vol. 2, Issue: 3)
Article Information:

Risk Factors for Malnutrition among Children 5-years and Younger in the Akuapim-North District in the Eastern Region of Ghana

Alex Kojo Anderson, Whitney Bignell, Sophie Winful, Ireneous Soyiri and Matilda Steiner-Asiedu
Corresponding Author:  Alex Anderson 

Key words:  Ghana, malnutrition, preschool children, stunting, wasting, ,
Vol. 2 , (3): Page No: 183-188
Submitted Accepted Published
2010 March, 23 2010 April, 03 2010 May, 20
Abstract:

Malnutrition remains a significant public health problem in developing countries. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for malnutrition among preschool children in the Akwapim-North District in the Eastern Region of Ghana. This was a cross-sectional study. Mothers who brought their children to the “Well Baby Check-up” clinics were invited to participate. Anthropometric measurements (weight and height/length) and blood hemoglobin were measured. Mothers also completed a questionnaire consisting of closed and open-ended questions. A total of 305 pre-school-age children were included in this study. Of this sample, 43.3% were males, and 56.7% were females. The prevalence of wasting, stunting, and underweight was 6.2, 11.4 and 7.3%, respectively. The majority of the children (80.7% ) were anemic. Children who were exclusively breastfed for 6 months showed slightly lower prevalence of both anemia (75.5% vs. 89.0%) and stunting (8% vs. 13%) but not wasting (8.3% vs. 4.3% ) or underweight (8.3% vs. 5.2%) compared to their mixed feeding counterparts. Children under 12 months of age showed a higher prevalence of wasting (9.4%) compared to other age groups. Children from homes with electricity showed lower prevalence of stunting (9.7% vs. 17.6%, p = 0.050), and children from households with a radio showed lower prevalence of wasting (5.3% vs. 19.0%, p = 0.033). Nutrition education encouraging exclusive breastfeeding and adequate provision of animal protein to preschool children is important in semi-rural and farming communities in developing countries such as Ghana in order to combat the prevalence of childhood malnutrition (stunting, wasting, underweight and anemia).
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  Cite this Reference:
Alex Kojo Anderson, Whitney Bignell, Sophie Winful, Ireneous Soyiri and Matilda Steiner-Asiedu, 2010. Risk Factors for Malnutrition among Children 5-years and Younger in the Akuapim-North District in the Eastern Region of Ghana.  Current Research Journal of Biological Sciences, 2(3): Page No: 183-188.
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ISSN (Print):   2041-076X
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