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To investigate key risk factors associated with undernutrition in the first few years of life.
A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in January 2018 collecting anthropometric data and other information on household, caregiver and child characteristics. Crude and adjusted odds ratios were calculated to assess the association of these characteristics with stunting and underweight outcomes.
Kitui and Machakos counties in south-east Kenya.
Caregivers and their children aged 0–23 months in 967 beneficiary households of the Government of Kenya’s cash for orphans and vulnerable children (CT-OVC) social protection scheme.
Twenty-three per cent of the 1004 children with anthropometric data were stunted, 10 % were underweight and 6 % experienced wasting. The strongest predictors of stunting and underweight were being in the second year of life and being born with a low birth weight. Residing in a poor household and having more than one child under 2 years of age in the household were also significant risk factors for being underweight. Although 43 % of children did not receive the minimal acceptable diet, this was not a significant factor associated with undernutrition. When age was removed as a covariate in children aged 12–23 months, being male resulted in a significantly higher risk of being stunted.
While only 9 % of children were born with a low birth weight, these were four to five times more likely to be stunted and underweight, suggesting that preventive measures during pregnancy could have significant nutrition and health benefits for young children in this study area.
To report on the haemoglobin concentrations and prevalence of anaemia in schoolchildren in eight countries in Africa and Asia.
Blood samples were collected during surveys of the health of schoolchildren as a part of programmes to develop school-based health services.
Rural schools in Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Tanzania and Vietnam.
Nearly 14 000 children enrolled in basic education in three age ranges (7–11 years, 12–14 years and Ä15 years) which reflect the new UNICEF/WHO thresholds to define anaemia.
Anaemia was found to be a severe public health problem (defined as >40% anaemic) in five African countries for children aged 7–11 years and in four of the same countries for children aged 12–14 years. Anaemia was not a public health problem in the children studied in the two Asian countries. More boys than girls were anaemic, and children who enrolled late in school were more likely to be anaemic than children who enrolled closer to the correct age. The implications of the four new thresholds defining anaemia for school-age children are examined.
Anaemia is a significant problem in schoolchildren in sub-Saharan Africa. School-based health services which provide treatments for simple conditions that cause blood loss, such as worms, followed by multiple micronutrient supplements including iron, have the potential to provide relief from a large burden of anaemia.
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