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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 8, No. 3, 2008, pp. 174-179
Bioline Code: hs08037
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 8, No. 3, 2008, pp. 174-179

 en Anthropometric measurements of children attending a vaccination clinic in Yaounde, Cameroon
Chiabi, A.; Tchokoteu, P.F.; Takou, V.; Fru, F. & Tchouine, F.


Background: Growth faltering is a frequent public health problem in children and anthropometric measurements are useful tools for follow-up and early diagnosis. This problem has not been studied in the Cameroonian setting, that's why we undertook this study.
Objectives: To have a synopsis of the nutritional status in apparently healthy children attending a vaccination clinic and show the importance of anthropometric measurements in routine child health care.
Design: A retrospective study.
Patients and Participants: 1351 children aged (6-24months), who attended the vaccination clinic of the Yaounde Gynaeco-Obstetric and Pediatric Hospital over a 6 month period, were enrolled in the study.
Method: The registers of the vaccination clinic of the above hospital were retrospectively reviewed from 1st March to 31st August 2005. The following parameters were noted: age, height, weight, mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC), and Z scores calculated for the following indicators: weight for age (WAZ), weight for height (WHZ), and height for age (HAZ).
Results: Our results show that 12 children (1.1percent) in the 0-6 months age group and 4 (1.6 percent) in the 6-12 months age group had WAZ less than -2 indicating underweight. Also 10 children (0.9 percent) and 2 (0.8 percent) in the 0-6 and 6-12 months age groups respectively had WHZ less than -2, indicating wasting. HAZ was less than -2 in 70 children (6.4 percent) and in 8 (3.2 percent) in the 0-6 and 6-12 months age groups respectively indicating stunting. The MUAC was less than 12.5 cm in 6 children (2.4 percent).
Conclusions: From our results, we conclude that growth faltering is common in supposedly healthy children attending our vaccination clinic. Anthropometric measurements are thus recommended and should be encouraged in routine child care settings for early diagnosis of growth retardation and to provide useful interventions.

Anthropometry - Children - Growth - Z scores - Yaounde - Cameroon

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