Demographic and Household Food Security factors associated with Malnutrition among School Going Children 6-12 Years in Kaliro District, Uganda
Mutonerwa, Joyce Kakete
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Introduction Malnutrition is a major public health concern affecting a significant number of school children influencing their health, growth and development, and school academic performance. This study was intended to determine the prevalence, demographic factors and household food security factors associated with malnutrition among school going children aged 6 to12 years in Kaliro District. Methodology A cross-sectional study design was used in the community and multi-stage sampling procedure was used to choose the sub-counties, villages, household, then the final participants to get a sample size of 581 school going children. The prevalence of malnutrition was measured using Body Mass Index for Age which was derived from the measurements of weight and height of school going children. The output was compared with the World Health Organization (WHO) 2007 reference standard. Socio-demographic characteristics and household food security factors were obtained using a questionnaire; the data was analyzed using STATA 10.0software and household food security scale respectively. Results Out of the 581 school going children sampled in this study in Kaliro district the overall prevalence of malnutrition was 65.9%. The family size (AOR=0.92, 95% C.I 0.85-1.01); child’s age (6-9years) (AOR=0.28, 95% C.I 0.19-0.41), married caretakers (AOR=0.20, 95% C.I, 0.06-0.60) and divorced caretakers (AOR=0.28, 95%C.I, 0.08-0.97) and individual dietary scores (AOR=1.63, 95% C.I 0.87-3.11) were the factors found to be associated with malnutrition. Conclusion and Recommendations The prevalence of malnutrition among the school going children 6-12 years in Kaliro District is high. Promoting appropriate dietary habits through effective nutrition education is an effective preventive method.