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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 22, No. 2, 2004, pp. 212-219
Bioline Code: hn04026
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 22, No. 2, 2004, pp. 212-219

 en Baseline Assessment for Addressing Acute Malnutrition by Public-health Staff in Cambodia
Jacobs, Bart & Roberts, Emma


The objective of this study was to formulate appropriate responses by the public-health sector to reduce acute malnutrition among children in Cambodia. A cross-sectional survey to identify wasting together with a simple wealth-ranking exercise was conducted. Thereafter, separate focus-group discussions were also conducted with mothers of malnourished and non-malnourished children, who belonged to the poorest strata, to identify coping mechanisms and to assess feeding and hygiene practices. There was no statistical correlation between wasting and socioseconomic status (df=3, p=0.06). Reported feeding practices were poor, including not giving of colostrum, too early introduction of weaning, low feeding frequency, and late introduction of nutritious foods. Healthcare-seeking behaviour appeared inadequate, and hand-washing with soap was not practised. Acute malnutrition was mainly related to these factors rather than to food insecurity. An education campaign in tandem with peercounselling would be the most appropriate option.

Nutrition disorders; Child nutrition disorders; Wealth; Public-health sector; Food security; Health behaviour; Cross-sectional studies; Cambodia

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