The nutritiomnal status of pre-school children and selected household factors in a Nairobi slum, Kenya
Mukoma, Ann Njeri
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The main objective of this study was to provide information on the nutritional status of pre school children aged 12-36 months living in Kibera slums. An investigation of the factors that affect their nutritional status was also carried out. Information on socio-economic and demographic characteristics of mothers, child nutritional status, feeding habits of the children and nutritional knowledge of mothers was collected in a cross-sectional survey of 100 households with children aged 12-36 months living in Kianda village in Kibera sub- location. The selection of the households was done through random sampling. Frequencies, means and percentages were used to describe variables whereas chi-square and t-test were used to test for statistical associations and differences between nutritional status of the pre-school children and socio-economic and demographic variables. Anthropometry was used to determine the nutritional status of the children. The results showed that 27% of the children were underweight while 21% were stunted and only 6% were wasted. Although it had been anticipated that there might be significant relationship between nutritional status and the various variables such as mother’s education, nutritional knowledge, feeding practices, Maternal availability for child care, Marital status, length of breastfeeding, no significant relationship was found. Findings of the study indicated that monthly household income; complementary feeding practices and mobility experiences of the children were significantly related to their nutritional status. This could imply that monthly household income, weaning practices and morbidity experience of the children are important when it comes to overall nutritional status. In conclusion, an overhaul of the economic situation of the slum community and overall improvement of their living conditions would improve the nutritional status of the pre-school children.