Prevalence of Malnutrition, Acute Respiratory Tract Infections and Diarrhoea in Children Under 5 Years

schedule 2 min read
Topic(s): Nutrition Health & Wellness Obesity Nutrition & Disease Management

Prevalence of Malnutrition, Acute Respiratory Infections and Diarrhoea in Children of Sugali Tribe of Andhra Pradesh

Malnutrition, acute respiratory tract infections (ARI) and diarrhoea are common in children. A community-based cross-sectional study published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine focused on the prevalence of malnutrition, ARI and diarrhoea in children under 5 years of age belonging to Sugali tribe in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh.

A total of 669 children under 5 years of age from 500 Sugali households were enrolled in the study. Information on demographic details and diarrhoea and ARI episodes in the last 1 month along with treatment seeking behaviour for that episode was collected. Height and weight of the children were measured. The nutritional status was classified using the new World Health Organization 2006 growth standards.

Of the 669 children, 32.7% of children were underweight, 18.3% of children were wasted and 38.3% of children were stunted. Overall, 9.3% of children were severely underweight, 6.0% of children were severely wasted and 13.5% of children were severely stunted. The prevalence of underweight, wasting and stunting significantly differed by age group. In the last 1 month, 51.6% of children reported at least one episode of ARI and 21.4% reported at least 1 episode of diarrhoea. A higher prevalence of diarrhoea was observed in children aged 5–11 months (30%), followed by children aged 12–23 months (29%). Majority of the children with diarrhoea (67%) and ARIs (69%) visited modern health facility for treatment. Only 10.7% of children with diarrhoea and 1.3% with ARI visited traditional healers. Majority of the children (50.2%) received medicines along with home remedies like buttermilk during diarrhoea.

A high prevalence of malnutrition, ARI and diarrhoea was observed in children of Sugali tribe living in urban areas. However, the prevalence was lower compared to that observed in other tribes in India, possibly due to better accessibility to health care services in urban areas. Therefore, it is important to intensify efforts to include tribes socially into the mainstream.

News source - Reddy VB, Kusuma YS, Pandav CS, et al. Prevalence of malnutrition, diarrhea, and acute respiratory infections among under-five children of Sugali tribe of Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, India. J Nat Sci Biol Med. 2016;7(2):155-60