Assessment of Nutritional Status of Preschool Children in the Bangang Rural Community, Cameroon

Type Journal Article - International Journal of Biotechnology and Food Science
Title Assessment of Nutritional Status of Preschool Children in the Bangang Rural Community, Cameroon
Volume 2
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 44-52
URL et al.pdf
Malnutrition is a public health problem of significant importance in Cameroon. The aim of this study was to assess the nutritional status of preschool children in Bangang rural community. In this study, 475 children aged 2 weeks to 5 years were randomly selected. The eating habits of children were obtained through a questionnaire. The height and weight of children were measured and anthropometric indices of height/age, weight/age and weight/height were used to estimate children’s nutritional status. Blood samples were collected on the children’s venous. The blood collected was centrifuged and the serum concentration of albumin, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium and the C-reactive protein were measured using a spectrophotometer. These children consumed low meat, fresh fish, vegetables and fruits. The prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting of children was 41.26, 10.52 and 3.58%, respectively. The mean serum levels of albumin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc were respectively 36.22 ± 16.87 g/L, 7.73 ± 4.48 mg/dl, 1.95 ± 0.8 mg/dl, 4.09 ± 2.29 mg/dl and 62.16 ± 25.72 µg/dl. The prevalence of deficiencies in albumin, calcium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus were 49.2, 73.56, 45.96, 62.98 and 62.23%, respectively. The prevalence of malnutrition, essentially stunting with altered biological markers was a problem of children in this community. We identified some risk factors including type of feeding, low fruits and vegetables intake and low education of family. The present results are currently used in developing an educational program using locally available food.

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