The study was conducted in the pastoralist communities of Calabar South LGA within fiverandomly selected homes. The study population was children from the selected 5homes inthe study site. A total sample of 818 children were involved in the study. General informationon the family characteristic of the child was collected through house to house visit andAnthropometric measurements (weight and height)was done for all children included in thestudy. Nutritional status of children and associated factors were assessed. Stunting was foundto be highest form of malnutrition in which 292(35.8%) of them were stunted from this159(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 severelyunderweight.Incomewasthevariablethatwasfoundtohavestatisticallysignificantassociation with all types of nutritional problems. Breast feeding status was the predictor forboth stunting and wasting. Education status of mother, breast feeding, febrile disease andincome were the determinants of stunting. According to this study, stunting accounts thehighestnumberamongallnutritionalproblems.Thiscouldbeduetolongtermfoodinsecurity, 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.

1.1 Background of study
Nutrition is essential for life. Growth and development of an individual is determined by the quality of food consumed. The nutritional status of any person is dictated by the quality and quantity of nutrients absorbed and the body’s ability to use them for its metabolic needs. People who have a good nutritional status have no malnutrition. Malnutrition is the condition that occurs when the body is not getting the right amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, required to maintain healthy functioning of tissues, organs and the body system in general, (John, 2013). The most vulnerable group prone to malnutrition is children due to their weak immune system. Children are prone to diseases, infection and malnutrition because their immune system are not fully developed are dependent on others for their basic need, and this stage of life is a critical stage that requires growth and development, hence the need for sufficient nutrients that will aid them in their growth and development, (UNICEF, 2013).

Generally, under-five children’s nutritional status is accepted as an indicator for the nutritional status of any community (John, 2013).The nutritional need of children is higher than that required for an adult this is because adult have strong immune system and they care and cater for their basic needs; what happens to this children is a reflection of the whole population and is used to measure the nutritional status of a population. Children are very important in the world and they constitute about 20% of a whole population, over 40% children in the world are stunted and more than 20% show chronic malnutrition which is quite challenging (INDEPTH, 2014).

According to 2015, UNICEF, WHO and world bank group released updated child malnutrition estimates for the 1990-2014 period, which represent the most recent global and regional figures after adding 62 new surveys from 57 countries to join the data set, global in 2014 there were estimated 667million children under 5 in the world; 159 million were stunted, 41 million were overweight and 50million were wasted.

Malnutrition contributes almost half of all children’s death, that is, more than 3 million per year (Robert & Black, 2013). It continues to be an issue in Nigeria owing to a myriad of factors. According to the 2012 Nigeria Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition (SMART) survey, global acute malnutrition has a prevalence of between 6.4% and 13.1% and severe acute malnutrition between 0.7% and 2.2% (SMART, 2012). According to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS, 2014), the percentage of stunting in Nigerian children under-five years declined from 41% in 2008 to 37% in 2013. However, the percentage of children who are wasted increased from 14% in 2008 to 18% in 2013. This indicates an ongoing deprivation among Nigerian children (NDHS, 2014).

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Over 150 million children under five in the developing world are underweighta factorcontributing to over half of all child deaths worldwide. Approximately 80 percent of themalnutrition-relateddeathswereduetomildormoderateformsofmalnutrition.Malnourished children have lowered resistance to infection. Even a mildly underweight childhas an increased risk of dying. WHO estimates that of the 10.4 million deaths of childrenfewer than 5 years of age that occurred in developing countries in 1995, about half wereassociated with malnutrition. Additionally, the proportion of underweight children droppedfrom33percentin1990to28percentin2003,withsignificantadvancesinsomeverypoorcountries. Still, progress is too slow to meet the MDG target or to restore normal lives to themillionsofchildren who arecurrentlyundernourished (11,12).

In sub-Saharan Africa, there has been little or no change over the period 1990-2003, andnearly a third of all children under five are underweight. Because of population growth, thenumberofmalnourishedchildreninsub-SaharanAfricahasactually increasedfrom29millionto 37 million overtheperiod 1990to 2003(12).

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

In Nigeria 47% of children under five are stunted and 24% are severely stunted. 11% ofchildren under five are wasted and 2% are severely wasted. The weight for age indicatorshows that 38% of children under five are underweight and 11% are severely underweight(14).

Sincethenumberofresearchconductedinthisareawasnotsufficientandpastoralistcommunities are marginalized social groups, this study tried to look at the major causes for malnutrition in that community and the major type of malnutrition especially inrelation to their living condition, food habits, dietary diversification, and food insecurity.Additionally, to look at the existence of previously investigated problems and related factors.Italsoservesasareferenceforfurtherstudyinthecountry.

1.3 Research questions
1. Whatarethemajorcausesformalnutritionin communityunder study?

2. Whatprevalenceofstuntingofunder five childreninthestudyarea?

3. Whatprevalenceofwastingofunder five childreninthestudyarea?

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

1.4 GeneralObjectives:

To determine the causes and effects of malnutrition among children under five of age inthePastoralist communityof Calabar SouthLGA,Cross River state.

1. Whatarethemajorcausesformalnutritionin communityunder study?

2. To determine prevalence ofstuntingof under five children in the studyarea

3. Toestimateprevalenceofwastingofunder five childrenin the studyarea

4. To assess the knowledge and practice of mothers/caretakers on complementary andsupplementaryfeedingofthechild

1.5 Research Hypothesis
H0: There is no causes and effects of malnutrition among under five children in Calabar South.

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

Pastoralists are the most marginalized social groups in the country in terms of accesstopublicservices includingeducationand health services.


The study attempted to look at the major causes for malnutrition in thecommunity and the major type of malnutrition especially in relation to their livingcondition,food habits, dietarydiversification, andfoodinsecurity.


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