UNDERNUTRITION AND HEALTH OF CHILDREN 0-5 YEARS (A CASE STUDY OF COTTAGE HOSPITAL AKAI UBIUM, AKWA IBOM STATE).
This research study was conducted to investigate the influence of under nutrition and health of children 0-5 years in cottage Hospital Akai Ubium, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State in 2014. The objectives of the study were to determine the causes of under nutrition among children aged 0-5 years, to determine the effect of under nutrition on the health of children ages 0-5 years and to determine and identify the preventives measures of under nutrition among children 0-5 years. Current and related literature were reviewed and facts obtained based on the specific objectives and research question. Descriptive survey design was used in carrying out the study. Sample size for the study was 100 mothers and the sampling technique was simple random sampling technique. The instrument for data collection was a 20 item structured questionnaire divided into four sections: A, B, C, D all in close ended questions. Validity and reliability of instrument were properly tested and posed accurate for the study. Data collected from the respondent were analysed using percentage, and frequency table. Findings from the study reveal that 90% of children are under nourished due to factors like poverty, disease infections inadequate breast feeding, method and poor maternal nutritional status. It was therefore concluded that provision of dietary supplement to breastfeeding mothers, health education of exclusive breastfeeding to mothers, provision of health can services such as immunization and adequate food supply.
The researcher therefore recommended that breastfeeding mothers should be provided with dietary supplements, mothers should be given health education on important of exclusive breastfeeding and proper weaning method, provision of health services such as immunization and deforming drugs, government should establish nutritional surveillance to check children at risk for under nutrition, government should ensure that every child should have equal opportunity to access nutritious food and government agencies such as NAFDAC should ensure that food manufactures are highly screened and registered and food produced are safe and adequately balance for consumption.
1.1 Background of the Study
World Health Organization (WHO), (2006) stated that under nutrition is a medical condition arising from consumption of unbalance diet less than body requirement needed to perform its normal functions to maintain optimum health. Under nutrition among children 0-5 years is the greatest single health threat to the world’s public health and it continues to be a significant problem all over the world especially among children in developing countries. It causes about 56% of children mortality rate each year. WHO 2006.
World Nation Food (2008) postulated that the earliest phases of life, that is from conception to the first five years of life are critical periods in which provision of essential and adequate nutrients including vitamins and mineral are very vital since these periods of life are the “window perished of opportunity” to prevent under nutrition that causes largely irreversible damage to physical, mental and developmental well being of children. Under nutrition in children is increasingly recognized as a prevalent and important health condition in many developing countries. An influence of childhood under nutrition has serious damaging consequences on the child and adversely influences the child development and mental ability (Horgan, 2010).
Petes (2009) opined that under nutrition adversely affect the growth of children and there health. Under-Nourished children are usually expected as attain worse, their mental capacities and learning skills are very much reduced.
Visvanathan, (2011) postulated that under nutrition has shown to be an important concern in women, children and elderly but among these high risk group, the most risked for under nutrition are children and some to the fact that their nutritional level are directly tied to the nutritional levels of the mothers during pregnancy and breastfeeding with high level of under-nutrition persisting in the developing world among children 0-5 years virtual opportunities to save million of life are being lost and many more children are not growing and thriving to their full potentials (Black, 2011). Childhood under-nutrition according to Grover (2009) is found to be the most important and alarming cause of illness and death affecting large population of children world wide influence of childhood under-nutrition among children 0-5 years causes mortality of 300,000 and over 630,000 mortality in children each year and increases risk of infection with diarrhea, measles, malaria and respiratory tract infection. Influence of under-nutrition among children 0-5 years leads to reduce or poor physical and mental development, failure to thrive, increase susceptibility to infection, under weight and affects more than 147 million pre scholars in developing countries (standing committee on nutrition, 2005). Under-nourished children have lower resistances to infection and are more likely to die from common childhood diseaseslike diarrhea, and respiratory infection. Frequent illness saps the nutritional status of those who survive, predisposing them into a vicious cycle of recurring sickness and flattering growth. (Kenneth 2008).
The study therefore intends to access the influence of under-nutrition among children 0-5 years in Akai, Ubium, Akwa Ibom State.
1.2Statement of Problem
During the researcher course of vaccinating children at cottage hospital Akai, Ubium, in Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, it was observe that majority of children were under-nourished as their anthropometric measurement indicated red on the Shikir tape. As such it was considered by the researcher a significant presented health problem that should be tackled because of it’s negative impact and by the fact that children are great leaders of tomorrow if they are not prevented from under-nutrition it will prevent them from being leaders of tomorrow and the hope of tomorrows leader will be markedly compromised with under-nutrition.
Several efforts were made by government, WHO United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF), Action Against Hunger (AAH) and other health care agencies to prevent underNutrition among children 0-5 years globally (standing committee on nutrition 2005). Such effort made by WHO was integrating adequate water, food supply, maternal and child health including family planning and immunization against infectious disease as part of her component of
Primary health care all in an effort to prevent childhood under-nutrition. UNICEF and AAFI tried to tackle the problem through setting of Nutritional surveillance to monitor lay of growth in children health education to public on prevention of childhood under-nutrition and provisions of free health care services to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and children under the age of 5 years.
Despite all the effort, it still proved aborted till date to eradicate childhood under-nutrition especially in developing countries. This study therefore is to access to influence of under-nutrition among children 0-5 years in Akai, Ubium, Akwa Thom Stite.
1.3 Purpose/Aim of the Study
This study sought to investigate under-nutrition and health of children aged 0-5 years in cottage hospital Akai, Ubium, Akwa Ibom State.
1.4Specific Objectives of the Study
To determine the causes of under-nutrition among children aged 0-5 years in cottage hospital Akai Ubium, Akwa Ibom State.
To determine the effect of under-nutrition on the health of children 0-5 years in cottage hospital Akai Ubiurn, Akwa Ibom State.
To determine the preventive measures of under-nutrition among children 0-5 years in cottage hospital Akai Ubium Akwa Ibom State.
The following research question have been formulated to guide the study.
(i) What are the causes of under-nutrition among children aged 0-5 years in cottage hospital Akai Ubium, Akwa Ibom State?
(ii) How does under-nutrition affects the health of children 0-5 years in cottage hospital Akai Ubium, Akwa Ibom State.
(iii) What are the ways of preventing under-nutrition among children 0-5 years in cottage hospital Akai Ubium, Akwa Ibom State.
1.6Scope of the Study
The scope of the study is limited to children 0-5 years in cottage hospital, Akai Ubium, Akwa Iborn State.
1.7Significance of the Study
The study is conducted to investigate the causes of childhood under-nutrition to determine the relationship of under-nutrition or health of children and to identify various strategies of preventing childhood under-nutrition in children 0-5 years in cottage hospital Akai Ubium, Akwa Ibom State.To the researcher, the study will advance the researcher knowledge on the causes of childhood under-nutrition on the health of children 0-5 years and the various ways of preventing childhood under nutrition.To nursing profession, it will impact new knowledge on the causes of childhood under-nutrition and how to eradicated them, it will also provide nursing profession indepth knowledge on how to relate child hood under-nutrition to the health of children, it w ill also enrich nursing profession on the various strategies of preventing childhood under-nutrition and also improving their knowledge on educating the masses on how childhood under-nutrition can be prevented.To the society, it will help to raise healthy and responsible children, it will also reduce mortality and morbidity among children 0-5 years in the society. Finally, the findings will add to the existing literature on childhood under-nutrition.
1.8Limitation of the Study
Limitation encountered during the study was hoarding of information by the respondent.
1.9 Operational Definitions of Term
Malnutrition: This is a condition in which there is improper balance between what an individual exists and what he requires to maintain health.
Under-nutrition: This is a condition where an individual takes in undernourished food.
Health: Is a state whereby an individual is free from disease..