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Abstract

UNDERNUTRITION AND ASSOCIATED RISK FACTORS AMONG PRESCHOOL AGE CHILDREN IN EVODOULA HEALTH DISTRICT, CENTRAL REGION OF CAMEROON

Patricia M. Ntsama*, Anne Christine A. Ndzana, Véronique J. Essa’a, Julie Judith T. Tsafack, Gabriel Nama Medoua and Carl M. F. Mbofung

ABSTRACT

Background: Limited information is available on the risk factors associated with preschool child undernutrition in Cameroon. This study describes the prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight and their associated factors among pre-school children living in Evodoula health district, Centre region of Cameroon. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study that collected anthropometric and socio-demographic characteristics data in 738 children aged 6 - 59 months. Weight-for-Height z-score, weight-for-Age z-score and height-for-Age z-score were based on WHO’s 2006 Child Growth Standards. The association between undernutrition and associated factors was determined using multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: Of the 733 children included in the analysis, 19.4%, 14.5%, and 8.3%were respectively stunted, underweight and wasted. Child age was the main factor associated with stunting. Underweight was associated with child sex, child age, birth weight, family size and mother education. Wasting was associated with child age, mother age, number of children in household, number of mother’s children and whether the father had a job. Conclusion: Despite a relatively good food self-sufficiency situation, undernutrition is prevalent among pre-schoolage children in Evodoula health district at prevalence above the national prevalence for wasting. Socio-demographic factors were associated with the different types of undernutrition.

Keywords: Undernutrition, pre-school Children, risk factors, Centre Cameroon.


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