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Prevalence of Stunting Amongst Preschool Age Children from Selected Towns in Anambra South Senatorial Zone

Akubugwo E I1, Okafor I N2, Ezebuo F C2, Nwaka A C2, and Okafor S O2
1. Department of Biochemistry, Abia, State University, Uturu, Nigeria
2. Department of Biochemistry Anambra State University, PM B 02, Uli, Nigeria
Abstract—Stunting is an evidence of chronic malnutrition in children and childhood malnutrition has been associated with serious health problems and risks in latter life. Evaluating the extent of the problem and monitoring related trends is imperative. To assess the prevalence of malnutrition among under-five year old children on the basis of the NCHS (National Center for Health Statistics) reference, and WHO standard, a descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out between the months of April and May 2012. Anthropometric data was collected using standardized methods and equipments. Five hundred and seventy nine (579) under five year old children from individual homes and five schools distributed in three (3) towns in Anambra South Senatorial district were assessed. Data was analyzed using WHO- ANTHRO software (Version 3.2.2) and stunting was defined as the proportion of pre-school age children with height-for-age values <-2SD from the reference/standard median population. Based on NCHS and WHO criteria, respectively, result of the study revealed 6.8% and 7% prevalence of stunting in the study population. A higher prevalence of stunting was observed amongst the girls (9.0%, 9.0%) compared with the boys (4.9%, 5.3%). Prevalence of stunting was highest (12.0%, 12.7%) amongst children between 4- 5 years followed by 3-4 years old (7.1%, 7.1%) and 1-2 years old (6.3%, 6.8%). Prevalence of stunting amongst 2-3 years old children was relatively lower (0.7%, 0.7%) and there was no record of stunting amongst under 12 month infants. The result of this study suggests that childhood nutrition should be prioritized in determining health, educational and Agricultural policies in Anambra State. 

Index Terms—z-score, stunting, NCHS, WHO anthropometry pre-school age

Cite: Akubugwo E I, Okafor I N, Ezebuo F C, Nwaka A C, and Okafor S O, "Prevalence of Stunting Amongst Preschool Age Children from Selected Towns in Anambra South Senatorial Zone," International Journal of Life Sciences Biotechnology and Pharma Research, Vol. 2, No. 4, pp. 127-136, October 2013.
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