MALNUTRITION AMONG CHILDREN OF AGE FROM ZERO TO FIFTY NINE MONTHS

Abstract
The study was conducted in the pastoralist communities of Barkin Ladi LGA within five randomly selected homes. The study population was children from the selected 5 homes in the study site. A total sample of 818 children were involved in the study. General information on the family characteristic of the child was collected through house to house visit and Anthropometric measurements (weight and height) was done for all children included in the study. Nutritional status of children and associated factors were assessed. Stunting was found to be highest form of malnutrition in which 292(35.8%) of them were stunted from this 159(19.5%) of them were severely stunted. From the total participants of 816 children 75(9.2%) of them were wasted. Regarding Weight for Age which is an indicator of Underweight, 95(11.6%) of them were underweighted and 32(3.2%) of them were severely underweight. Income was the variable that was found to have statistically significant association with all types of nutritional problems. Breast feeding status was the predictor for both stunting and wasting. Education status of mother, breast feeding, febrile disease and income were the determinants of stunting. According to this study, stunting accounts the highest number among all nutritional problems. This could be due to long term food insecurity, insufficient dietary intake, infections and poor feeding practice. So, governmental and nongovernmental organizations should have to work hard to tackle this problem and to bring solution.

CHAPTER ONE
Introduction
• Back ground information
Nigeria is a landlocked country located in the Horn of Africa. The country covers approximately 1,221,900 square kilometers and shares frontiers with Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, and Djibouti. Much of the Nigerian landmass is part of the East African Rift Plateau. Nigeria has a general elevation ranging from 1,500 to 3,000 meters above sea level. The capital city of the nation is Addis Ababa and located in the center of the country. The highlands that comprise much of the country are divided into northern and southern parts separated by the Great Rift Valley. In Feb, 2012 CSA the country had a population of about 86 million. The population has been predominantly rural though there has been a steady growth in the rate of urbanization in the country. The percentage of population that resided in urban areas was merely 6% in 1960. It increased to about 16% by 2006(1).

Nigeria is a country endowed with many resources, a diversified topography, and many nationalities. A multi-ethnic society, it serves as the home of about 80 ethnic groups (2).

The study obtained on pastorals’ in Nigeria estimate that pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in Nigeria constitute roughly 10-12% of the total population. According to these studies, these groups occupy some 60% the countries land mass, mainly the peripheral areas of the country. The main pastoral communities are the Somali (53%), Afar (29%) and Plateau (10%) living in the Southeast, Northeastern and Southern parts of Nigeria, respectively, and the balance (8%) are found in Southern, Gambella and Benshangul regions. The majority of these are pastoralists engaged in extensive livestock herding. Within and between each of these groups there are different adaptive specializations dependent on varying ecological, economic and cultural factors (3).

Nigeria’s pastoral groups manage some 40% of the national cattle herd, one quarter of the sheep, three quarters of the goats and nearly all the camels. About 90% of livestock export of the country comes from these areas. Livestock in these areas also supply almost all unofficial exports across the borderlands where animals are first trekked to the neighboring countries and re-exported to the Middle East (3). Livestock in the pastoral areas are the major source of food (milk and meat) and income, as well as a source of employment. They also serve similar purposes and functions for people living in urban and rural towns adjacent to the pastoral areas. Livestock contribute a significant amount to the national economy. In terms of gross national product, the contribution of livestock to the agriculture sector and the national economy is 40% and more than 20% respectively (4). The pastoral areas are characterized by frequent droughts with high animal mortality followed by famine and high death rates in the human population (3, 4).

The situation in Plateau state with regard to animal health, food security and water for human and animal consumption is deteriorating on a daily basis. The extended dry season follows insufficient rainfall during the rain (October-December) and conditions have been exacerbated by overstocking of livestock and encroachment of land by farms and bush trees. Coping mechanisms are stretched to breaking point and pastoralist communities, children, the elderly and people living with HIV/AIDS are particularly vulnerable to livelihood and health risks (6).

So, adequate nutrition is the means by which people thrive, maintain growth, resist and recover from diseases and perform their daily tasks. When nutrition is inadequate, vulnerable populations are likely to become malnourished. Malnutrition includes a wide range of clinical disorders in which an individual’s physical functions are impaired. Common consequences of malnutrition include growth failure, decreased resistance to disease and reduced ability to work (7).

• Statement of the Problem
Over 150 million children zero to fifty nine months in the developing world are underweight a factor contributing to over half of all child deaths worldwide. Approximately 80 percent of the malnutrition- related deaths were due to mild or moderate forms of malnutrition. Malnourished children have lowered resistance to infection. Even a mildly underweight child has an increased risk of dying. WHO estimates that of the 10.4 million deaths of children fewer than 5 years of age that occurred in developing countries in 1995, about half were associated with malnutrition. Additionally, the proportion of underweight children dropped from 33 per cent in 1990 to 28 per cent in 2003, with significant advances in some very poor countries. Still, progress is too slow to meet the MDG target or to restore normal lives to the millions of children who are currently undernourished (11, 12).

In sub-Saharan Africa, there has been little or no change over the period 1990-2003, and nearly a third of all children zero to fifty nine months are underweight. Because of population growth, the number of malnourished children in sub-Saharan Africa has actually increased from 29 million to 37 million over the period 1990 to 2003(12).

Malnutrition can best be described in Nigeria as a long-term year round phenomenon due to chronic inadequacies in food intake combined with high levels of illness, the two immediate causes of malnutrition. It is not a problem found uniquely during drought years. It is a year round chronic problem found in the majority of households across all regions of the country (13).

In Nigeria 47% of children zero to fifty nine months are stunted and 24% are severely stunted. 11% of children zero to fifty nine months are wasted and 2% are severely wasted. The weight for age indicator shows that 38% of children zero to fifty nine months are underweight and 11% are severely underweight (14).

Since the number of research conducted in this area was not sufficient and pastoralist communities are marginalized social groups, this study tried to look at the major contributing factors for malnutrition in that community and the major type of malnutrition especially in relation to their living condition, food habits, dietary diversification, and food insecurity. Additionally, to look at the existence of previously investigated problems and related factors. It also serves as a reference for further study in the country.

• Research questions
• What are the major contributing factors for malnutrition in community under study?

• What prevalence of stunting of under five children in the study area?

• What prevalence of wasting of under five children in the study area?

• What are the knowledge and practice of mothers/caretakers on complementary and supplementary feeding of the child?

1.4 General Objectives:
To determine the prevalence of malnutrition among children zero to fifty nine months of age in the Pastoralist community of Barkin Ladi LGA, Plateau state.

1.4- Specific Objectives
• What are the major contributing factors for malnutrition in community under study?

• To determine prevalence of stunting of under five children in the study area

• To estimate prevalence of wasting of under five children in the study area

• To assess the knowledge and practice of mothers/caretakers on complementary and supplementary feeding of the child

1.5 Research Hypothesis
H0: There is no prevalence of malnutrition among under five children in Barkin Ladi.

1.6 Significance of the study
The pastoral areas in Nigeria are one of the most drought vulnerable areas with chronic food deficiencies.

Pastoralists are the most marginalized social groups in the country in terms of access to public services including education and health services.

The number of research conducted in this area was not sufficient to impact the pastoralists’ marginalization.

The study attempted to look at the major contributing factors for malnutrition in the community and the major type of malnutrition especially in relation to their living condition, food habits, dietary diversification, and food insecurity.

It will also serve as a reference for further study and recommend some improvements in the future.

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Item Type: Project Material  |  Attribute: 48 pages  |  Chapters: 1-5
Format: MS Word  |  Price: N3,000  |  Delivery: Within 30Mins.
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