Factors that determine the prevalence of Anaemia among children aged less than 2 years in Uganda
Nsubuga, Henry Mubiru
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This study was based on the 2000-2001 Uganda Demography and Health Survey (UDHS), which was conducted in all the districts of the country except Bundibugyo, Gulu, Kasese and Kitgum. The main objective of this study was to find out the socioeconomic and demographic factors that have an impact on the anaemia status of a child and to also establish the prevalence rate of anaemia among children below two years. The distribution of the children in this study was such that 51% were males, while the females were 49% of all the children studied. Most of the children were residing in the same households with their mothers (97%). This can be attributed to the fact that these children are still in the infancy stage which requires much attention. It was found that most of the children in the study were in a rural area (75%) and thus residing in the countryside. In addition to this, children in rural areas were found to be more anaemic compared to those in the urban area. The mother’s level of education was found to be a statistically significant factor in determining the anaemia status of a child. The more educated a child’s mother, the less likely it was for a child to be anaemic. The number of children below five years of age in a household was significant in determining the anaemia status of a child. The greater the number of children below five years in a household, the more likely it was that a child below two years in such a household was anaemic. This could be attributed to the fact that there is increased competition for food and thus nutrients in the household. Finally, the prevalence rate of anaemia was found to be 65%, which showed that more than half of the children below two years were anaemic in Uganda. Since anaemia is largely attributed to iron deficiency, there is need for children in this age category to be given food rich in iron as anaemia has far reaching effects like intellectual impairment as well as retarded physical development among children.