Malnutrition among Under-Six Children in Chandigarh: Scarcity in Plenty
Dr. sonia puri, Senior Lecturer. Department of Community Medicine, Govt. Medical College, College Building, Sector 32-A, Chandigarh - 160047, India.E-mail: email@example.com
India has shown remarkable progress and a number of nutrition intervention programmes have been implemented, but malnutrition remains highly prevalent in poor states of the country. Chandigarh is one of the most literate among union territories/states of India, having highest per capita income.
Objective: The present study was conducted in one of the largest slums, with the objective to find out the prevalence of protein energy malnutrition (PEM) and some of the associated factors among children under the age of 6 years (under-six children).
Methodology: This community-based cross-sectional study is a representative of 26 slums, with 1.5â€“2 lakh population living in the slum areas of a modern city. Three hundred and thirteen under-six children were selected by systematic sampling technique.
Results: The overall prevalence of PEM was observed as 62.62%, which was higher among boys (65.87%) as compared to girls (58.90%). The peak prevalence was found in the age group of 6â€“12 months. A significant association between acute ailments (diarrhoea, ARI, and fever with rash) and PEM was observed (p < 0.001). Prevalence of worm infestation on the basis of history was recorded as 35.67%. Over half (58.4%) of the children were anaemic.
Conclusion: Prevalence of malnutrition along with worm infestation, anaemia, and common ailments in an urban slum of Indiaâ€™s modern city highlights the significance of developing integrated child illness management programmes for urban poor and strengthening nutrition intervention programmes.