Food consumption patterns and nutritional status of children (6-59 months) in camps of internally displaced persons in Wadajir District, Mogadishu-Somalia
Hussien, Farhia Abdiaziz SH.
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The impact of the civil war, the waves of IDPs, emigration, poverty and the absence of a Central Government in Somalia have led to emergence IDPs camps with a large population. Malnutrition in Somalia is a huge public health problem, negatively affecting growth, development and survival of the population. The determinants of food consumption patterns and the prevalence of nutritional status are not well documented. The main objective of this study was to assess nutritional status of children 6-59 months in IDP camps of Wadajir District. The study adopted a cross-sectional analytical research design. the study covered 185 household with children 6-59 months selected from 12 IDP camps in xalane Sub-district of Wadajir district. Data was collected using questionnaires, key informants interview and focus group discussions. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Anthropometric data was analyzed using ENA for SMART computer software. Pearson Product Moment correlation coefficient was used to determine the presence, strength. and direction of the relationship between non-categorical variables like dietary practices and nutrition ststua. Chi-square was used to assess relationships between categorical variables. Simple regression was used to assess the determinants of food consumption patterns. The qualitative data were transcribed, coded and categorized to come up with the emerging themes. Results show that households had low incomes with 18.4% earning less than 1 USD per day due to lack of employment especially among women which affected the caregiver’s health seeking behavior and food accessibility. Factors like income and education level affected the populations’ dietary and nutritional status. It was noted that the caregivers had low education (68.7%) and most of them unemployed (55.7%). Maternal education is a major factor in nutrition and health of children 6-59 months. It was also evident that most 19.5% of the children had global acute malnutrition. Morbidity levels were also high with 68.1% of the children interviewed having had an illness in the previous two weeks. Education level was significantly related (p=0.036) to nutritional status of children. There was a significant relationship (p=0.038) between caregivers income and nutritional status, Also between caregivers household size and nutritional status (p=0.042) and between sickness and nutritional status (p=0.041) . The study concludes that the food consumptions patterns adopted in the camps are poor and are influenced by education level, occupation, income and morbidity patterns. This study recommends implementation of programs to empower mothers and caregivers in education and economically through income generating activities and other micro finance credit facilities to strengthen their resource base. Study tudy results are useful in addressing issues related to the nutritional status and morbidity patterns of children 6-59 months in IDP camps of Wadajir district Mogadishu- Somali.