In Uganda, the prevalence of stunting and wasting among the under fives is well documented (UDHS 1988 / 89, 1995, 2000). It is assumed that during the school age period children usually catch up in growth. Yet, after five years of age, children are still growing and are exposed to repeated infections. They also have to make adjustments for academic performance. Though wasting may not be associated with significant mortality among the school going age as it may occur among the under fives, stunting among the school going children is associated with poor academic performance and poor economic activity during adult period.
The main objective of the study was to establish the prevalence of stunting and wasting and some of the associated factors among children aged between 6-10 years in Kiyeyi target area (KTA)- Tororo district. This followed observations the most of the school going children were having inadequate meals.
This was a community based cross sectional descriptive study, involving 30 villages which were selected by cluster sampling. The sample size consisted of 210 children aged 6-10 years.
In Kiyeyi target area, among children aged 6-10 years the prevalence of stunting was moderate (21%) and wasting was mld (1.9%). Breakfast and snacks were not considered as important meals for the children. Children who attended school were more likely to miss meals. The commonest health problems among children were malaria (37%) intestinal infestations (30%) and dental carries (28.0%). Stunting was highly significantly associated with confirmed malaria infection (p=0.01) and presence of a fever at the time of study (p=0.01). It was also highly correlated with use of unprotected water source (p=0.04).
The district director of health services Tororo should intensify malaria control activities in the area. The ministry of education should make it a policy to provide meals to children at school. More protected water sources should be provided in the area by RUWASA. People in the area should be educated on the foods for proper child growth.||en_US