1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
The issue of malnutrition has become a household name among families
with children from zero to five years. It is evident that the
nutritional status of children is widely regarded as one of the
well-known indicators of economic development of that particular region
There has been high level of neglect of children by most parents’
reason being as a result of low family income, lack of parent exposure
and poor implementation of infrastructural facilities such as good
hospital that sees for children like of pipe borne water etc.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that malnutrition
accounts for 54 percent of child mortality worldwide, about 1 million
children. Another estimate also by WHO states that childhood underweight
is the cause for about 35% of all deaths of children under the age of
five years worldwide. The main causes are unsafe water, inadequate
sanitation or insufficient hygiene, factors related to society and
poverty, diseases, maternal factors, gender issues and overall poverty
(Bhutta et al, 2008). The nutritional status of children under five (5)
years of age is usually measured as weight-for-age, weight for height
and height for age indexes. The common nutritional status of children
under 5 years old in each region such as underweight, stunning and
wasting are considered as nutritional disorders.
The evaluation of these criteria reflects the general health status
of that region. Malnutrition is a clinical syndrome which the infant or
child deviates from the main pattern of growth, the growth curve is
downward and constantly locates under the curve of 3% of the height and
weight (Nakhshab M, Nasiri H, 2009).
The malnutrition often occurs in the first years of life when the
caloric intake is not able to provide the metabolic needs of the body.
Consequently, the stored nutrients in the tissues will be consumed to
preserve the life (Arezomaniance S, 2005). In children, protein-energy
malnutrition is defined by measurements that fall below 2 standard
deviations under the normal weight for age (underweight), height for age
(stunting) and weight for height (wasting). Wasting indicates recent
weight loss, whereas stunting usually results from chronic weight loss.
The primary malnutrition in children occurs due to socioeconomic
factors and lack of food. The secondary malnutrition is associated with
the diseases with increased need for calories, calorie loss, and
reduction of calorie intake or a combination of these three modes. It
may be caused by low food intake or impaired absorption of nutrients.
Prenatal malnutrition and early life growth patterns can alter
metabolism and physiological patterns and have lifelong effects on the
risk of cardiovascular disease. Children who are undernourished are more
likely to be short in adulthood, have lower educational achievement and
economic status, and give birth to smaller infants (Bhutta et al,
2008). Children often face malnutrition during the age of rapid
development, which can have long-lasting impacts on health.
The World Health Organisation estimated in 2008 that globally, half
of all cases of malnutrition in children under five were caused by
inadequate food intake, unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or
insufficient hygiene. This link is often due to repeated diarrhoea and
intestinal worm infections as a result of inadequate sanitation.
However, the relative contribution of diarrhea to malnutrition and in
turn stunting remains controversial. In almost all countries, the
poorest quintile of children has the highest rate of malnutrition.
However, inequalities in malnutrition between children of poor and rich
families vary from country to country, with studies finding large gaps
in Peru and very small gaps in Egypt. In 2000, rates of child
malnutrition were much higher in low income countries (36 percent)
compared to middle income countries (12 percent) and the United States
(1 percent). Studies in Bangladesh in 2009 found that the mother’s
literacy, low household income, higher number of siblings, less access
to mass media, less supplementation of diets, unhygienic water and
sanitation are associated with chronic and severe malnutrition in
1.2 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH PROBLEM
What really instigated the study was the increased mortality of
children under the ages of five (5) as a result of malnutrition; about
50 percent of the citizens in Nigeria are low income earners, it is
evident from World Bank found that, from 1970 to 2000, the number of
malnourished children decreased by 20 percent in developing countries.
Some the other problems discovered are in the areas of lack of iodine
intake by pregnant mothers before child birth, lack of minerals, calcium
vitamins has seen to be a major clog on the wheels of child growth and
development. In Nigeria today, there has been lack of nutritional
education in most of the hospitals to educate pregnant mothers on how to
feed before child birth.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
The main aim of the research work is to carry out a statistical
analysis of the prevalence of malnutrition on children Zero to five
years. Other specific aims of the study include:
- To examine the effect and causes of malnutrition among children from Zero to Five years of age
- To examine the relationship between malnutrition and child mortality rate in Nigeria
- To identify the strategies for reducing malnutrition in children from zero to five years
- To examine the effect of parent income on child care and malnutrition among children from Zero to Five years old
- To proffer solution to the above stated problems
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The study came up with research questions so as to be able to
ascertain the above stated objectives. The specific research questions
are stated below as follows:
- What is the effect and causes of malnutrition among children from Zero to Five years of age?
- What is the relationship between malnutrition and child mortality rate in Nigeria?
- What are the strategies for reducing malnutrition in children from zero to five years?
- Does parent income have any effect on child care and malnutrition among children from Zero to Five years old?
1.5 STATEMENT OF RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: there is no significant relationship between malnutrition and child mortality rate in Nigeria
H1: there is significant relationship between malnutrition and child mortality rate in Nigeria
H0: length for age and weight for age does not
influence mortality rate among children from Zero to Five years as a
result of malnutrition
H1: length for age and weight for age influences mortality rate among children from Zero to Five years as a result of malnutrition
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY
The study on the prevalence of malnutrition on children Zero to five
years will be of immense benefit to the entire pregnant mothers in
Nigeria as it will educate them on the effect of malnutrition on child
mortality rate. The study will also educate them on how to take care of
their child at the early age of growth and development. The study will
educate on the causes, prevalence and strategies for reducing
malnutrition in children from zero to five years. Finally the study will
be a contribution to the body of literature in the area of the effect
of personality trait on student’s academic performance, thereby
constituting the empirical literature for future research in the subject
1.7 SCOPE OF STUDY
The study on prevalence of malnutrition on children Zero to five
years will cover areas on the causes and the prevalence of malnutrition
in children. It will also cover the strategies for reducing malnutrition
in children from zero to five years of age
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to
impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant
materials, literature or information and in the process of data
collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously
engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will
cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
MALNUTRITION: lack of proper nutrition, caused by
not having enough to eat, not eating enough of the right things, or
being unable to use the food that one does eat
MORTALITY RATE: death, especially on a large scale
PREVALENCE: the fact or condition of being prevalent; commonness
WHO. Physical status : the use and interpretation of anthropometry.
report of a WHO Expert Committee. World Health Orqan Tech Rep Ser 1995;
854:1-452. 2. Nakhshab M, Nasiri H. A study on the prevalence rate of
malnutrition and it’s effective factors in children under two years in
sari township 1999-2000. J Mazandaran Univ Med Sci 2002; 12 (34):47-58.
3. Arezomaniance. S. (2005) Marllow infants nursing. 13 ed. Tehran:
Boshra publication, p291-4.
Taheri. F, Sharif zadeh. Gh, and Nasiri. Prevalence of malnutrition
in 1-36 month old children hospitalized in Valiyy-e-Asr Hospital of
Birjand. Journal of Birjand University of Medical Sciences 2006;
13(2):9-15. 5. Nojoomi N, Kafashi A, Najmabadi S. Study of frequency of
malnutrition risk factors in under 5 years children in Karaj, 2001-2002.
RJMS 2003; 10(33):123-30. 6. World Bank. (1993) World development
report. New York: Oxford University press: p36-42. 7. Word Health
Organization (WHO). Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition
[Internet]. 2011 [updated 2011 January 14]. Available from:
http://www.who.int/nutgrowthdb. January 14, 2011]