Malnutrition amongst Under-Five Years Children in Swat, Pakistan: Prevalence and Risk Factors|
Ullah, H.; Ullah, B.; Karim, S.; Tariq, I.; Khan, A.K.; Mir, S.; Baseer, A.; Azhar, S. & Murtaza, G.
Purpose: To identify malnourished cases and determine their relationship with weaning time and
socioeconomic factors in under-5 children in Swat, Pakistan.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at the Pediatric Ward and Outpatients Department
(OPD), Saidu Teaching Hospital, Swat, Pakistan using case files from October to December 2011.
Results: A total of 186 children were studied to identify malnutrition, out of which 101 (37.7 %) were
male and 85 (32.0 %) female. Moreover, 95 (35.7 %) of the mothers were < 30 years of age and 91
(34.0 %) > 30 years. About 33.7 % of the children were weaned before the age of 4 months. The
maternal age of 28.6 % of the malnourished children was < 20 years, and about 2l % of the
malnourished children were not immunized against eight EPI (Expanded Program on Immunization)
target diseases, viz, poliomyelitis, neonatal tetanus, measles, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough),
hepatitis-B, Hib pneumonia & meningitis, and childhood tuberculosis. Respondents from urban location
98 (36.7 %), while 88 (33.0 %). Based on Gomezfs classification, out of 186 children, 19 (7.1 %) were
victims of malnutrition; mothers of 35.6 % of the children were uneducated and 25.5 % had primary level
(5 years) education. The number of siblings per mother was ≥5 in the case of 64.8 % of the
malnourished children. More than half of the children were at risk of malnutrition.
Conclusion: The incidence of malnutrition is about the same for both male and female children. Risk
factors for malnutrition in the children include lack of education, teenage pregnancy, lack of
immunization, and large family size.
Malnutrition; Gomez’s classification; Weaning time; Risk factors; Teenage pregnancy; Swat