International Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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International Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016, 4(1), 7-11
DOI: 10.12691/ijcn-4-1-2
Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Childhood Nutritional Status: Findings from a Health and Demographic Surveillance System

Adeola Alabi1, Macellina Yinyinade Ijadunola1, Olatunji Alabi2, , Adedeji Onayade1 and Olufemi Aluko1

1Department of Community Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

2Department of Demography and Social Statistics, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, Nigeria

Pub. Date: May 10, 2016

Cite this paper:
Adeola Alabi, Macellina Yinyinade Ijadunola, Olatunji Alabi, Adedeji Onayade and Olufemi Aluko. Assessment of Childhood Nutritional Status: Findings from a Health and Demographic Surveillance System. International Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2016; 4(1):7-11. doi: 10.12691/ijcn-4-1-2


Background: Globally, malnutrition is a major public health concern. Malnutrition, mostly resulting from poor dietary choices is related to physiological, socioeconomic and psychological factors and remains one of the leading causes of under-five mortality (U5M) in developing countries. Interventions aimed at addressing the high prevalence of malnutrition in most developing countries is hampered by paucity of data on its prevalence and thus, most countries do not accord malnutrition especially among children under-five (under-5) years the required urgent attention. The study therefore assessed the nutritional status of under-five children in Zamfara State, northwest Nigeria. Methods: Households with children under-5 registered within the Nahuche Health and Demographic Surveillance System (Nahuche HDSS) were identified from the centre’s database. Nutritional status of 397 children under-5 were assessed from three out of the six districts under the demographic surveillance area (DSA) using anthropometric indices. The anthropometric measurements (z-scores) were calculated for height-for-age (HAZ), weight-for-height (WHZ) and weight-for-age (WAZ) using the Emergency Nutrition Assessment (ENA) for SMART Software. The nutritional status of children under-5 in the DSA was compared with new growth standards published by World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2006. Results: Results show that malnutrition was prevalent, with 70% (n=397) of the under-5 stunted, 15% (n=292) wasted and 37% (n=397) underweight. About half of the stunted children, were severely stunted while almost a quarter (23.9%) of the underweight children, were severely underweight. Conclusion: The study provided evidence of high malnutrition among under-five children in the study area and thus, emphasized the need for multidimensional and multisectoral intervention aimed at addressing prevalence of high malnutrition. This can be achieved through strategic advocacy to policy level stakeholders, promotion of maternal and child health (MCH) services and integrated health promotion focusing on caregivers of children under-5.

nutritional status under-5 maternal and child health malnutrition demographic surveillance INDEPTH Network Nigeria

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