Child undernutrition in the Far-West Terai of Nepal


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Høgskolen i Akershus

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Master i samfunnsernæring


Introduction: Child undernutrition remains a major health problem in Nepal. Nearly 50% of the children below five years are stunted. A cross sectional study was conducted in the Far West Terai of Nepal in 2009. Methodology: A two staged cluster sampling was used and 1500 children (0-59 months) from 1500 households were included. Anthropometric measurements (height, weight, MUAC) were performed. A precoded questionnaire was used to collect information about socio economic status, infant and young child feeding, disease, coping mechanisms, and prevention and control of diseases. Results: 35%, 16% and 35% of the children below five years were stunted, wasted and underweight, respectively. Of the children below 6 months, 77% were exclusively breastfed and the majority was breastfed up to 2 years. The complementary feeding was inadequate. Only 8% of the children aged 6-11 months were given at least 3 meals a day. Thirty- eight percent had been sick. The study showed that 88% of the children were fed less during illness episode. Multivariate regression analysis showed that in households where the mother was the head, where the mother worked more than 8 hours , households of low caste and households who got their main source of income from farming- had higher levels of stunting than other households. Conclusion: According to WHOs’ classification of undernutrition, the prevalence of wasting and underweight was very high and the prevalence of stunting was high. There gas been some improvements in the breastfeeding practices, however, the complementary feeding is still not adequate. The prevalence of disase is high and the care during the illness is inadequate


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