Malnutrition and feeding practices among under-five children in rural communities of Federal Capital Territory Abuja, Nigeria

  • C.E. Okoro Nutrition Section, Federal Capital Territory Primary Health Care Board, Abuja, Nigeria.
  • O.A. Owolabi Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State Nigeria.
  • D.B. James Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State Nigeria.
  • A.N. Maduforo Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria.
  • B.C. Okoro Prevention, Programmes and Knowledge Management Department, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Abuja.
  • C.O. Isokpunwu Nutrition Division, Federal Ministry of Health, Abuja, Nigeria.
Keywords: Malnutrition, Infant and young child feeding, children


Background: Poor dietary practices and malnutrition among under five children in Nigeria has remained a great public health concern.

Objective: This study assessed the feeeding practices and nutritional status of under-five children to determine the prevalence of malnutrition of under five children in Kuje area council, Abuja.

Methods: Cross-sectional study design was employed. Validated questionnaire was used to obtain information on the feeding practices of the respondents, while appropriate equipment was used for measurements of anthropometric parameters. Anthropometric data was analysed by comparing with reference standard and analysed statistically with p<0.05 considered significant.

Results: Result showed that 97% of the children were breastfed, 30.6% had early initiation to breastfeeding, 22.4% were breastfed exclusively, and 30.2% discarded colostrum. Only 27.7% had age appropriate timely introduction of complementary feeding. The prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) was 12.8%, (severe wasting [5.4%] plus moderate wasting [7.4%]), underweight was 24.4%, stunting was 40.3% and overweight was 7.0%. Child left in the care of another child (younger than 14 years old), place of delivery, immunization status of the child, early initiation to breastfeeding, use of colostrum, and age of child were all significantly (p<0.05) associated with nutritional status.

Conclusion: There is high prevalence of malnutrition and poor infant and young child practice in Kuje Area Council.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2635-3326
print ISSN: 2141-8209