Journal of Nutrition and Human Health

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Research Article - Journal of Nutrition and Human Health (2018) Volume 2, Issue 1

Prevalence of acute malnutrition among children ages 6-59 months: Results from a baseline nutrition survey in North-Western Uganda

Background: Acute malnutrition is particularly important in humanitarian emergencies where sudden change of food availability or high disease burden can cause this form of malnutrition. Alliance Forum for Development Uganda received funding from World Food Program to implement MCHN and TSFP in refugee settlement areas in Koboko district, North-western Uganda. As part of the program, a baseline nutrition survey was conducted to fast track the progress and contribution of the project towards improving the nutritional wellbeing of the refugees and host communities.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out in the month of August in two sub counties in Koboko district. The selection of the sub counties and parishes therein was purposive, while 18 villages in selected parishes were randomly selected. The participants were invited to come to the nearest screening post for anthropometric measurements. Anthropometric data was analyzed using ENA software. While Stata version 12 was used to execute statistical tests for association. Statistical tests were two-sided.

Results: The prevalence of GAM was 5.6% (4.2-7.4 95% C.I.) and SAM was 1.1% (3.2-5.8 95% C.I.). GAM was higher among boys than in girls (7.7% vs. 3.9%). There were no statistically significant differences in prevalence of acute malnutrition by nationality (national: 8.7% vs. refugees: 6.2%, p=0.186). Low child birth weight was statistically associated with acute malnutrition (p=0.021). Severe acute malnutrition was more common among the age group 6-17 months (1.2%) and decreased with age. The prevalence of oedema was 0.6%.

Conclusion: By WHO thresholds, our results indicate that global acute malnutrition is a moderate situation in the refugee areas of Koboko district and that GAM affects both refugees and host communities. We recommend a repeat of the survey during a period of hunger gap to give a year-round nutrition situation in Koboko district.

Author(s): Ismail D. Legason* and Ratib Dricile

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