Prevalence and correlates of hunger among primary and secondary school children in Malawi: results from the 2009 Global School-based Health Survey|
Mwambene, J.B.; Muula, A.S. & Leo, J.C.
Education is important in improving economies and creating literate,
self-reliant and healthy societies. However, hunger is a barrier to basic
education in Malawi. Hunger is also associated with a number of health risk
behaviours, such as bullying, suicide ideation and unhygienic behaviours
that may jeopardize the future of children. There are, however, limited
data on the prevalence and associated factors of hunger among school
children in Malawi.
The study used data from the Malawi Global School-Based Health Survey
conducted in 2009 to estimate the prevalence of self-reported hunger
within the last 30 days among primary and secondary school age group.
It also assessed the association between self-reported hunger and some
selected list of independent variables using frequency distribution, chisquared
test and logistic regression.
A total of 2359 students were available for analysis. The overall selfreported
prevalence of hunger within the last 30 days was 12.5% (18.9%
(172) in the rural and 8.3% (115) in urban areas; and 11.9%(123) for male
and 12.5(148) for female children). In the final analysis, geographical
location, eating fruits, having been bullied, suicide ideation, and washing
hands with soap were significantly associated with hunger.
Hunger in both primary and secondary school children in Malawi is a
major social problem. The design of school feeding programmes aimed
to reduce hunger should incorporate the factors identified as associated