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Assessment of Nutritional Status and Associated Factors in Children Aged 6 to 59 Months in Ayos Locality, Cameroon

Author(s): Angèle Eveline Tchapda, Serge Berlin Dzeukou, Christine Biyegue Nyangono, Nicolas Policarpe Nolla, Inocent Gouado, Ekoe Tetanye

Childhood malnutrition is a serious public health problem around the world, particularly in Cameroon. This study was conducted to assess nutritional status and associated factors for children aged 6 to 59 months in the locality of Ayos. This is a cross-sectional and descriptive study that took place from August to October 2019 on a random sample of 309 children and his mothers. Anthropometric parameters of children were measured, socio-demographic data of mothers and children's eating habits were collected using a questionnaire, association between socio-demographic factors, dietary practices and malnutrition were identified. The results showed that 9.06% of children were wasted with 3.56% in the severe form, 26.54% were underweight with 10.03% in the severe form and 53.07% were stunted with 34.96% in the severe form. Overall, 86.1% of mothers have a poor understanding of the concept of dietary diversity. The first complementary food introduced is the poorly enriched local porridge used by 40.52% of the mothers, followed by the family meal, used by 38.52% of them. Marital status (p=0.009), level of education (p=0.001), occupation (p=0.046) were associated with chronic malnutrition. Type of breastfeeding (p=0.005), age of introduction of complementary foods (p=0.004), reason for introduction (p=0.002) had a significant association on the prevalence of stunting. There is a significant influence between the type of breastfeeding (p=0.017) and the first food introduced (p=0.022) on the prevalence of wasting. The prevalence of malnutrition in Ayos locality was accentuated in children who received inadequate breastfeeding and feeding. Nutrition education for mothers could improve this situation.

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