Caregiver factors influencing nutritional status of preschool children in Mwingi West Kitui County Kenya.
Children are at an increased risk of malnutrition with many undernourished children being highly susceptible to preventable premature death and morbidity. Insufficient dietary intake infections food insecurity and inadequate care are the main causes of child malnutrition. These factors are sequentially influenced by caregivers characteristics. Despite this the effectrnof a caregivers characteristics on a childs nutrition status has not been exhaustively studied in rural areas of Kenya. It is important to continuously examine the trends in the prevalence of malnutrition for effective interventions. Regular updates on the prevalence of malnutrition are crucial for appropriate interventions
s. In this study the nutritional status of children was evaluated alongside their association with caregivers characteristics.
The study was based in Migwani ward Mwingi West Sub-County in Kitui County. The study was conducted between October and December 2020 and involved 106 caregivers with their 106 children aged 3642 months. The characteristics of the caregivers were determined by the use of a pretested study questionnaire. To evaluate the nutritional status of children the height and weight measures age and sex of the child were taken and transferred into the WHO Anthro software and scores were derived. The Statistical Package for the Social Sciences SPSS was used to carry out additional data analysis. Childrens nutritional status and caregivers characteristics were bivariate tested to determine the association
In the present study the prevalence of stunting was 33.0 wasting was 15.1 and underweight was 20.8. In this study the caregivers that had lower income had more children that were underweight 2 9.2 p 0.02 stunted 2 10.4 p 0.015 and wasted 2 16.9 p0.001 compared to those with higher incomes. More so the caregivers that were younger had more children that were wasted 2 20.04 p0.001 stunted 2 9.65 p 0.032 and underweight 2 8.26 p 0.041. Households that were headed by women had more children that were stunted p 0.022 wasted p 0.041 and underweight p 0.003. Similarly respondents with lower education levels had more children that were stunted 2 14.02 p 0.003 wasted 2 4.85 p 0.037 and underweight 2 4.76 p 0.045. In this study the caregivers occupation was significantly associated with childrens stunting 2 12.23 p 0.007 and underweight levels 2 6.12 p 0.034. The caregivers occupation had no influence on the childrens wasting levels. The present study found that the marital status of a caregiver did not influence a childs nutritional status
The present study results ascertain that nutritional problems of stunting wasting and underweight among preschool children in Kitui County remain of public health concern. The present study revealed that low education levels and the low monthly income of caregivers negatively impacted childrens nutritional status. Furthermore in this study households that were headed by women had more children with poor nutritional status suggesting that gender differences should be considered in improving the wellbeing of children. In this study young caregivers had more children that were malnourished. Therefore the age of a caregiver is a risk factor for child malnutrition. This study concludes that caregivers characteristics are valid indicators of the nutritional status of preschool children in Kitui County.
Publication Information
Focus County(s):
Kitui County
Programme Area(s):
Public Health & Health Research Systems
Research Priority Area(s):
Disease Domain(s):
Document History:
Publication Date: 08.Oct.2022
Conference Title: