Nutritional status and associated factors among school going children aged 4-10 years in Kisii Central Sub- County
Background: Malnutrition is a major challenge in developing world with children less than ten years bearing most of these conditions. In Kenya malnutrition is the greatest contributor to child mortality at 53%. Malnutrition among school age children is due to inadequacies in one or more of the three main pre-conditions for food nutrition, care and health.
Objective: Nutritional status and associated factors among school going children aged 4-10 years in Kisii Central Sub-county.
Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study.
Settings: Five public primary schools representative of fifty four public primary schools in Kisii
Subjects: Three hundred and fifteen children (155 males and 160 females) aged 4-10 years old.
Results: This study showed that 6.5%, 1.9%, 3.9% were HAZ, WHZ, and WAZ respectively. The prevalence of WHZ among school boys was 8.2% compared to school girls 5.2%. Among the school boys 7.0% were prevalent to HAZ compared to school girls 0.9%. The prevalence of WHZ among children aged 6-10 was 3.9%compared to prevalence of children aged 4-5 years which was 1.1%. The prevalence of WAZ among children aged 6-10 years was 1.9% versus 4.0% for children aged 4-5 years. Study showed that different socio-economic/cultural factors were significantly associated to nutritional status of children namely;mothers’ knowledge about a child’s nutrition 73.35% and father’s knowledge 62.5%, size of household (ᵪ2= 45.8, p= 0.005), amount of income per household (ᵪ2= 45.82, p= 0.005), and marital status of the guardians (ᵪ2= 36.89, p=0.045). Dietary intake per day was 28.3% and minimum of three meals were taken.
Conclusion: The prevalence of malnutrition was significantly associated with some socio-economics factors such as; mothers ’knowledge about a child’s nutrition, amount of income per household and size of the household of which eradication of poverty may promote nutritional status on school children in Kisii County.