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Abstract

PREVALENCE OF NUTRITIONAL ANAEMIA AND ASSOCIATED RISK FACTORS AMONG CHILDREN ATTENDING RUHENGERI REFERRAL HOSPITAL

Izere Cedrick*, Lakshmi Agarwal, Serubebe amans and G. R. Neel

Abstract

Nutritional anaemia is a severe public health problem affecting more than half of children under five years of age in low, middle and highincome countries. This study aimed to determine the prevalence and factors associated with nutritional anaemia among children attending Ruhengeri Referral Hospital. The study was carried out from October to December 2021. One hundred and ten children were eligible based on inclusion criteria. Cross-sectional study was used to achieve the objectives. To obtain the information regarding risk factors associated to nutritional anemia, written questionnaires in native language were distributed to caregivers. Middle Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) was used to assess the nutritional status of children. Blood samples were collected into EDTA tubes and sent to laboratory department for analysis. Data were analyzed using Statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS). Among 110 children who participated in the study, the majority were females over males with 51.8% and 48.2% respectively. Study findings revealed that the prevalence of nutritional anemia was 14.5% for Iron deficiency anemia, 5.5% for megaloblastic anemia and 80% for anemia of other causes. Thus, the overall prevalence of nutritional anemia was 20%. Age-group 6-16 months was the most predominant with a proportion of 35.5%. This study demonstrates that the most prevalent nutritional anemia is Iron deficiency anemia. The most risk factors associated with nutritional anemia were age-range between 6 months to 27 months, parents’ knowledge on nutritional anemia, separated parents, types of meal that a child is given and the source of meal that a child is given were significantly associated with nutritional anemia due to the p value less than 0.05; because, from the information provided by the caregivers, children are given meals mainly composed of energy giving foods without the body building foods or the protective foods. Poor families with children aged 6-59 months need continuous support that will assist them to improve nutritional status of their children.

Keywords: Haemoglobin, Malnutrition, Nutritional anaemia.


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