ASSESSING STUNTING AND PREDISPOSING FACTORS AMONG CHILDREN
Objective: The present study was aimed at â€œassessing stunting and predisposing factors among children.â€
Methods: Prospective, descriptive, observational and cross-sectional study was conducted comprising children between 2 years and below 5 years age group in the city Fazilka in Punjab, India. Random, two-stage cluster sampling method was adopted. Direct observation and interview methods were used to assess physical appearance, demographic characteristics, habit of soil eating, and episodes of diarrhea (diarrheal episodes 2 weeks before investigation). Inspection method was used to assess nail beds of children to ascertain pallor.
Results: Prospective, descriptive, observational and cross-sectional study was conducted comprising children between 2 years and below 5 years age group in the city Fazilka in Punjab, India. Study population was made up of total 440 children which were differentiated into 240/440, 127/440, and 73/440 children representing about 54.5%, 28.9%, and 16.6% of proportions from schools, child care, and slums, respectively. Children 55/240, 36/127, and 35/73 from schools, childcare centers, and slums suffered from stunting which amounted to about 23%, 28%, and 48% prevalence of stunting in school, childcare center, and slum children. Gender-wise characterization of study population depicted boys (260/440) and girls (180/440) with a proportion of 59% boys and 41% girls. Among the participants, about 20.5% (90/440) and 79.5% (350/440) of children belonged to illiterate and literate parents. The odds for stunting were nearly 1.6 times higher among anemic children in comparison to children in non-anemic group represented by odds 0.575 and 0.348 in former and latter groups of children with odds ratio (OR=1.65). Children (n=41) out of total children (n=80) those belonged to income (<2000 INR) per month in family, were stunted and contributed to 51% prevalence of stunting. Another group of children (n=85/360) who belonged to income (>2000 INR) per month in family, suffered from 23.6% prevalence of stunting.
Conclusion: National policies should be reformed to generate employment, Maintain minimum support price for Agricultural products, Sustain food security and contribute and promote community sanitation and hygiene.
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