Nutritional Status of Children in Displacement Camps in Sierra Leone
Civil wars have resulted in the displacement of millions of people worldwide and have forced many into temporary displacement camps. Sometimes, most are caught in prolonged and overcrowded refugee camps, which provide ideal grounds for the transmission of diseases, increased risk for acute respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, and malnutrition. In this study, stunting, under nutrition, and wasting were measured among 454 children under the age of 10 years in four internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Stunting was found to be the most common nutritional abnormality in all four IDP camps with the highest prevalence rate (29.3%) in the Trade Center Camp and lowest (14.2%) in the National Workshop Camp. This study indicates that forced internal displacement results in high prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight among children.
Key Words: Nutritional status, Children, Displacement, Sierra Leone.