Factors influencing malnutrition in under-five children in Yemoh Town community; Bo city, Southern Sierra Leone
Augustine Sondai, Peter Mboh Muffuh, Mohamed Ben Sesay, Abdulai Brima
This study investigated the prevalence and risk factors of malnutrition among under five children in Yemoh Town Community, Bo City, Southern Sierra Leone. The study made use of the survey design. The population comprised all under-five children and their lactating mothers/ care givers, a sample of 100 under-five children and 100 lactating mothers selected from the Yemoh town community. Systematic random sampling technique was used to select the households in the Yemoh town community. Semi structured interview questionnaire was developed and administered to the sampled lactating mothers/care takers of the under-five children and the Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) and height of the under-five children measured. Also, child welfare clinic cards/under five clinic cards were used to determine the age of the children. The study revealed that 48 percent of the sampled under-five malnourished children and out of this percentage, 55 percent were females. The findings revealed that the demographic factor associated with under-five children in Yemoh town community in Bo city is age distribution of the mother at birth. The socio-economic factors are Level of education of parent, parent’s knowledge of the causes and methods of prevention of malnutrition, number of meals taken by the child per 24 hours, breastfeeding practices, household’s employment status, alcohol intake by respondent mother/ caregiver, and parent’s marital status. Also, the health related factors are antenatal clinic consultation (ANC), immunization status, vitamin A supplementation, and institution where child was delivered. It is recommended that increasing household food security and reinforcing educational intervention could contribute to the reduction in the prevalence of malnutrition of under-five children in the communities.