Anaemia, Nutritional Status and Parasitic Infection among Preschool Children Living in Rural Nigerian Villages
AbstractObjective: This study was carried out to determine the packed cell volume nutritional status and parasitic infection among preschool children living in rural villages. Subjects and Methods: A total of 116 preschool children in nine villages formed the population for this study. The preschool children were studied using anthropometric measurements, stool examination, malaria parasite determination and packed cell volume assessment. A structured pre-tested questionnaire that solicited information on the children's demographic data was also used. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, EPI Info version 3.3.2 and SPSS software package. Malaria parasite and anthropometric status were assessed using standard procedures. Result: Many of the preschool children (44.1%) had different degrees of stunting. Close to eight percent (7.8%) were severely stunted and 21.6% of them were at risk of stunting. Some of the children (16.4%) were wasted, an indication of a current malnutrition. Majority of the preschool children (94.8%) were anaemic. Many (75.9%) complained of recurrent fever episodes. More than half (60.3%) were observed with malaria parasite and 44% were observed with intestinal parasite. Conclusion: Stunting, wasting, anaemia and parasitic infections contributed to the high level of malnutrition present in the rural preschool children. Key words: Preschool children, anthropometry, anaemia, parasitic infection, rural Nigeria,
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