Risk factors for malnutrition in children aged 0 to 5 Years in Lilongwe district, Malawi
Muwalo, Blessings Gandalale Chale
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The Malawi Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) in 2007 indicated that the prevalence of underweight in Lilongwe District was 29%, stunting was 49% and Global Acute Malnutrition was 11%. The aim of the study therefore was to determine the risk factors for malnutrition amongst children aged 0 to 5 years in Lilongwe district in Malawi. Study design It was a case-control study, conducted in randomly selected Community Therapeutic Care (CTC) Sites (Nutrition Rehabilitation Units (NRUs)) and Under-five Clinics at health facilities of the district. The study sample was comprised of 50 underweightfor- age children (25 girls and 25 boys) aged 0 to 5 years from NRUs of the district selected randomly. The controls were comprised of 44 normal weight-for-age children (22 girls and 22 boys) randomly selected within the same age group, routinely attending under-five growth monitoring and immunization sessions during the same period as the cases. The cases and controls were identified using the NRU and under-five clinic registers respectively. Data Collection There was a face to face interview with the mother/guardians of the children, conducted by trained NRU nurse specialists, the researcher and a research assistant, using a structured questionnaire. Questions about socio-economic status of the mother/caregiver, child feeding practices, nutritional status and diseases of the child were asked. Analysis of results Data was analyzed using EpiInfo 2002 software. Ethical approval for the study was requested from the Ethical committee of the University of the Western Cape. Informed written consent was obtained from all the participants.