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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Masters
Title Nutritional status of pre-school children; a comparative study of two communities in Savelugu-Nanton District Northern Region
Author(s)
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Abstract
A well-nourished child is one whose weight and height measurements compare very well with the standard normal distribution of heights and weights of healthy children of the same age and sex. The study was conducted in two communities all the 160 children aged between 6 and 23 months where assessed in Savelugu/ Nanton District in the Northern Region of Ghana during the year 2007. The main objective was to compare nutritional Status of children 6-23months in two communities, one with food supplementation, and the other without the intervention. The study was a comparative study using a structured questionnaire and measurements of weight and height. Participants were recruited in July, 2007 using purposive and random sampling procedures. A structured questionnaire was administered to mothers in their home setting. Information on child health, socio-economic status of parents, childhood illness, mothers’ knowledge in nutrition and weaning practices, cultural practices that affect complementary feeding and anthropometric measurement of children were gathered. Reference standards used were those of the National Center for Health Statistics NCHS standards for weight for age was utilize to classify children in various grades of nutritional status. We found that the ignorance of mothers (94% had no education) about good nutrition is affecting the prevalence of infection and under nutrition. The level of childhood illness (malaria) was very high in both communities, 58% in Janjori and 81% in Nyoligu. Mothers did not meet the recommendation of WHO on the initiation of complementary feeding at 6 months as they introduced food at 4weeks. Corn-based food accounts for almost 90% of the food consumed by the children. Sixty-four percent (64%) children in Janjori and 68% in Nyoligu were underweight (W/H). There was no statistically significant difference as far as underweight was concerned in the two communities. (Chi square= 1.3; df=1; p-value=0.03) There was no difference with respect to nutritional status of children in both communities (p-value=0.02). The null hypothesis of no difference between the two communities cannot be rejected. The food supplement therefore has not made any impact as far as the nutritional status of children in Janjori is concerned. The food supplement therefore has not made any impact as far as the nutritional status of children in Janjori is concerned. It is important to teach mothers how to prepare nutritious weaning mixes from the various ingredients of their farm output and add vegetables and fruit in whatever amount these are available.

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