Assessment of Malnutrition among Under-Five Children in Umuahia North Local Government Area Abia State, Nigeria

A.D. Oguizu, G.E. Nnate
Malnutrition; Assessment; Under-five children; Umuahia North L.G.A; Abia State; Nigeria.
Background: Malnutrition, the intake of an insufficient or surplus amount of nutrients is a significant public health burden with greater concern among children under five years.
Objectives: This study assessed the prevalence of malnutrition among under-five children in Umuahia North L.G.A, Abia State, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive design was used for the study. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 268 respondents for the study. Data on socio-economic and demographic characteristics of the under five children were taken. Anthropometric characteristics of the children were determined using validated questionnaires and standard procedures. The SPSS version 25.0 was used to analyze the data. Data obtained were described using frequency and percentage.
Result: The study showed that 52.6% of the children were females and had 1-2 siblings. About 65.3% of their mothers were between the ages of 20 to 29years and 57.1% had tertiary education. About 29.1% and 25.7% of the mothers were traders and housewives respectively. A quarter of the mothers (45.1%) earned less than 30,000 naira per month. More than half (56.3%) of the fathers were within the age range of 41 to 50 years, 98.9% were married, while 63.4% acquired tertiary education. About 42.2% of the fathers were self-employed and 36.6% earned between 31,000 to 50,000 naira per month. More than half (72.8%) of the households had 3 to 6 persons, few households (34.7%) had borehole as their major source of drinking water. About 89.9% of the households used water system, 60.8% of households allowed their children to feed themselves, 63.4% had healthy facility around their household, 38.1% lived in a two-bedroom flat. About 22.8% of the children had oedema, 30.2% had experienced anorexia, while 32.1% had apathy and 28.4% had lethargy. For Anthropometric characteristics of the children, 10.8% were underweight and 7.8% were overweight. About 17.2% of the children were stunted and 8.2% tall. About 9.4% were wasted, while 2.2% and 2.6% were overweight and obese respectively. Body mass index for age showed 9.4% were thin. About 14.9% were malnourished using their mid upper arm circumference.
Conclusion: This study observed the nutritional status of the children were moderately fair. Socioeconomic and demographic factors played a vital role in the nutritional status of children. There is need to strengthen the nutritional status of children in food insecure households.
[1] Alberti KG, Zimmet P, Shaw J. (2010). The metabolic syndrome—a new worldwide definition,” Lancet. 2010; 366 (9491): 1059–1062. 17.
[2] Amalia, D.K. (2020). Metabolism and Nutrition, Medicine Crash Course 4th ed. Moseby (London: 2013) Pp.130.
[3] Aruna, S. and Sudha, P. (2015). A Survey: Malnutrition for Women. International Journal on Computer Science and Engineering. 7: 75-77.
[4] Biesalski, H.K. (2016). The 1,000-day window and cognitive development. In Malnutrition and the First 1,000 Days of Life: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions. World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics.
[5] Binod, K. A., Ankush, K. G. and Suman, S. S. (2022). Severe acute malnutrition and its associated factors among under-five children in two districts of Nepal. BMC Pediatrics. 20:249.
[6] De Onis M, Blossner M. (2003). The World Health Organization Global Database of Child Growth and malnutrition: methodology and applications. Int. J. Epidemiol. 32(4): 518-26.
[7] Ghimire, U., Aryal, B.K., Gupta, A.K. et al. (2020). Severe acute malnutrition and its associated factors among children under-five years: a facility-based cross- sectional study. BMC. Pediatr. 20: 249.
[8] Federal Ministry of Health. (2013). Report of the Nutrition Assessment of the North West Millet and Sesame Livelihood Zone of Northern Nigeria. Abuja, Nigeria.
[9] Henry, Mary; Smith, Sara, eds. (2007). Advanced nutrition and dietetics in nutrition support. Hoboken, NJ. Pp. 3. ISBN 978-1-118-99386-6. OCLC 1004376424.
[10] Makanda B. I. and Olufemi B.O. (2020). Prevalence and factors associated with malnutrition among under 5-year-old children hospitalized in three public hospitals in South Africa. African Journal of Primary Health Care and Family Medicine.
[11] National Population Commission (NPC) [Nigeria] and ICF. (2019). Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey, 2018. Abuja, Nigeria, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: NPC and ICF.
[12] Oguizu, A.D., and Okafor C. (2019). Assessment of Nutritional Status of Children under 5 Years in Enugu North Local Government, Enugu State Nigeria. Acta Scientific Nutritional Health. 3(4): 70-76.
[13] Oguizu, A.D., and Nnadede LU. (2016). Nutritional Status of Children Aged (2-5 Years) in Isiala Ngwa North L.G.A, Abia State, Nigeria. The Indian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics. 53(1):30-46.
[14] Pankomera P, Houssou N, Zeller M. (2009). Household food security in Malawi: measurements, determinants and policy review. Conference on International Research on Food Security, Natural Resource Management and Rural Development, University of Hamburg, Tropentag, October 6-8, 2009, Hamburg.
[15] Simonyan, K., Harding KL, Aguayo VM, and Webb P. (2020). Factors associated with wasting among children under five years old in South Asia: Implications for action. PLoS One. 13(7):198-749.
[16] UNICEF. (2019). NEPAL Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) guideline.
[17] UNICEF. (2020). Evaluation of Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM): Nepal Country Case Study. Evaluation Report.
[18] World Health Organization (WHO). (2019). Guideline: Updates on the management of severe acute malnutrition in infants and children Geneva: World Health Organization.
[19] WHO. (2020). Guideline: assessing and managing children at primary health-care facilities to prevent overweight and obesity in the context of the double burden of malnutrition, 2020.Available: [Accessed 19 May 2020].

Received : 29 June 2023
Accepted : 30 August 2023
Published : 06 September 2023
DOI: 10.30726/esij/v10.i3.2023.103002