Prevalence and associated Factors of Malnutrition, among Children 6-59 months old in Pastoral communities of Aweil Centre, South Sudan

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.SE.19.01.Art012

Authors : Dricile Ratib


Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among children globally has been linked to 60% of the 10.9million deaths annually of children under five. The median stunting prevalence in WHO African region is 31.3%.

Aweil Center of South Sudan has consistently high malnutrition rates despite running nutrition projects with relative stability. Results from nutrition survey in November 2013 indicated a severe acute malnutrition (SAM) prevalence rate of 6.3% (95% CI, 4.5-8.9) and a global acute malnutrition (GAM) rate of 22.4% (95% CI, 17.8-27.7). Both prevalence rates were above the WHO thresholds of 15% and 2% respectively.

A cross-sectional study done with two-stage cluster sampling method showed that generally children 6-59 months in Aweil Center have poor nutritional status with GAM (<-2 z-score and/or edema) of 23.2% (95% CI, 19.0-27.9) and SAM (% < -3SD) of 7% (95% CI, 4.9%-9.9%). However, stunting based on height/length-for-age z-scores was 8.7% (95% CI, 6.5-11.6), which was within the acceptable new WHO’s threshold regarded as low probably due to genetic factors for tallness for Dinka tribe.

The study revealed high burden of infectious diseases at 94.5% with p-value 0.00022 (95%C. I, 0.1667-0.291). Poor feeding and family planning practices; poor access roads to markets contribute to childhood malnutrition.

Multifaceted approach is needed to root out the chronic malnutrition from Aweil center shift from food Aid to support of food production, scale up of primary health care and iCCM interventions and community awareness on feeding practices among others.

Keywords: Prevalence, Associated-factors, Malnutrition, Children 6-59 months, Infectious diseases, Genetics.


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