Undernutrition & childhood morbidities among tribal preschool children

Type Journal Article - Indian Journal of Medical Research
Title Undernutrition & childhood morbidities among tribal preschool children
Volume 122
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2005
Page numbers 43
URL http://medind.nic.in/iby/t05/i7/ibyt05i7p43.pdf
Background & objectives: Undernutrition and various morbidities go hand in hand, particularly in children. Nutritional status is a sensitive indicator of community health and nutrition. The present study is an attempt to assess the nutritional status of pre-school children of Gond tribal community in Madhya Pradesh. Methods: The study was a community-based, cross- sectional survey carried out in tribal preschool children. Anthropometric measurements were taken. Various indices of nutritional status were expressed in standard deviation units (z scores) from the reference median. The children were examined for nutritional deficiencies and other morbidities. The haemoglobin concentration was measured and the children were classified into various grades of nutritional anaemias. Data on socio-cultural and hygienic practices were also collected. Results: More than 60 per cent children were underweight. Micronutrient deficiency disorders such as anaemia and vitamin A deficiency were common among them. Unhygienic personal habits and adverse cultural practices relating to child rearing, breast-feeding and weaning were also prevalent among them. Interpretation & conclusion: The findings of the present study revealed the widespread prevalence of undernutrition among pre-school tribal children and highlight a need for an integrated approach towards improving the child health as well as nutritional status in this area.

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