Prevalence of protein - energy malnutrition in Maiduguri, Nigeria

  • JL Hamidu
  • HA Salami
  • AU Ekanem
  • L Hamman


Nutritional disorders are common in young children in developing countries and constitute a major public health problem. In this study, the relationship between the dietary pattern of malnourished
children on hospital admissions to the socio economic and educational status of the parents was investigated in one hundred and twenty (70 male and 50 female) children (6 – 24months) at the paediatric wards of the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital and the State Specialist Hospital, Maiduguri, Nigeria. Laboratory findings showed all the children had one or more form of infections associated with PEM. (41.6%) had gastro-enteritis 26 (21.7%) malaria, 18 (15%) pneumonia, 8
(6.6%) measles, 6 (5.0%) Pulmonary TB, and 12 (10%) had associated iron-deficiency anaemia. The results indicated the prevalence of marasmus was highest in the age group of 6 to 12 months in both sexes (34.3% and 36% for males and females, respectively while Kwashiorkor was highest among the children in the 13 to 18 months age group in both males and females. The results did not
show any statistically significant sex difference in the prevalence of PEM. Educational and socioeconomic status of parents (especially mothers) of the children bearing age showed that 80% of the
mothers of the malnourished children had no formal education, 8.3% attended primary school, 1.7% had Islamic education only, while 10% had post-primary school education. None had higher education. The implications of these findings were discussed.

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eISSN: 1119-5096
print ISSN: 1119-5096