Effect of community level intervention on nutritional status and feeding practices of under five children in Ile Ife, Nigeria
Introduction: Childhood malnutrition remains a widespread problem in developing world like Nigeria. The country ranks second among the ten countries contributing to sixty percent of the world's wasted under-five children. Community Integrated Management of Childhood illness (CIMCI) is a programme that employs the use of community based counsellors to address child health and nutritional challenges of the under-five and has the potential to reduce the morbidity and mortality resulting from poor nutritional and feeding practices. The study assessed the effect of community level intervention on nutritional status and feeding practices of children in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional comparative study that employed the use of multi stage cluster sampling techniques in selecting 722 mothers of index under five children. The study was done in two Local Government Areas of Osun State, Nigeria. Quantitative techniques were used in data collection. Data analysis was done using SPSS version 20.0. Descriptive and bivariate analyses was performed.
Results: The two Local Government Area (LGA) did not differ significantly in their wealth index (p=0.344). However, more children in the non-implementing LGA (16.1%) had low weight for age compared with 3.6% in the CIMCI implementing LGA (p=0.000). A statistically significant difference exist in the MUAC measurement of children 12-23 months between the CIMCI implementing and non-implementing communities (p=0.007). A higher percentage of caregivers (19.3%) introduce complementary feeding earlier than 6 months in the non-implementing area (p<0.001).
Conclusion: Using community level nutritional counseling can greatly improve nutritional status and feeding practices of under five children.
Key words: Nutritional status, CIMCI, weight for age, MUAC, complementary feeding