PREVALENCE AND FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH MALNUTRITION IN CHILDREN AGED 6-59 MONTHS IN JUBEK STATE, SOUTH SUDAN. Investigator: MARTIN ADELINO (MBBS), JU 2014/HD07/1019X Supervisors: 1. Prof.
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Introduction: South Sudan is the world’s youngest nation which gained independence from Sudan on the 9th of July, 2011. This former region of Sudan has witnessed some of the World’s most horrific humanitarian catastrophe during its struggle for Independence for more than two decades. Rates of acute malnutrition have been consistently higher in South Sudan than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa, more than twice the average reported for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Objective: To determine the prevalence and factors associated with malnutrition in children aged 6- 59 months in Jubek State, South Sudan. Methodology: A community based cross sectional study design was used to assess the magnitude and factors associated with malnutrition in children aged 6-59 months in Jubek State, South Sudan. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 396 children. Anthropometric measurements and determinant factors were collected. SPSS statistical software was used for analysis. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with nutritional status of the children. Results: The study revealed that 32.2%, 28.2% and 32.3% of children were stunted, wasted and underweight, respectively. The main associated factors of stunting were age older than one year, children from households who were renting their houses and children who defecate in open spaces with no latrine at their homes. COR 5.25(CI:1.33-20.65). Underweight was associated with not consuming vitamin A foods, acute illness and no consumption of meat. Male gender, households with two or more children aged zero to five years, not consuming vitamin A rich vegetables, diarrheal disease and households with water sources other than piped water were also associated with wasting. Conclusions and recommendations: Findings of this study conclude that malnutrition is still a serious public health problem among children below five years of age in Jubek state, South Sudan. We recommend that mothers with sick children should be encouraged to seek medical care, continue feeding during illness at the community level, need to teach mothers at the community level on how to improve the quality of locally diet by adding oil to child’s food to make it nutritious and finally sensitization of the xi community on child responsive feeding practices and other health interventions such as immunization.