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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 178-183

Determinants of undernutrition among primary school children residing in slum areas of a Nigerian city


Department of Paediatrics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra state, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
C I Ndukwu
Department of Paediatrics, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra state
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.110142

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Background: Undernutrition remains the largest contributor to the global disease burden. Different factors affecting the nutritional status of children need to be studied to determine those to be targeted in a country like Nigeria, characterized by widespread poverty and inequitable distribution of wealth. Objective: This study was aimed at ascertaining the relationship between prevailing socioeconomic and environmental factors, and the nutritional status of children residing in a typical urban slum. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study of 788 children aged 6-12 years selected by stratified, multistage random sampling method from public primary schools in slum and non-slum areas of Onitsha was carried out. Their nutritional status was determined using anthropometric measures. The socioeconomic and environmental variables of interest were analyzed to determine their relationship with undernutrition in the children. Results: Socioeconomic status was the major determinant of nutritional status in this study. Poor housing also affected the nutritional status of the slum children who were significantly from poorer families than those residing in non-slum areas (χ2 = 66.69, P = 0.000). Conclusion: This study highlights the need for an effective nutrition program targeted at school children in urban slums surrounded by factors predisposing them to undernutrition.


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