The Effect of Couples' Socio-Economic Status on Nutrition and Immunization of Children in Akure South Local Government Area, Ondo State
This study examined the socio-economic status of couples and determined the nutritional status of their children in Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State. It also assessed the extent of immunization completeness of the children with a view to determining their health status. Primary data was collected for this study using the multi-stage sampling technique. There are eleven districts in the study area out of which eight were purposively selected. From each of the selected districts, five enumeration areas were randomly selected after which the household listing was done. Systematic sampling was used to select twenty-five couples having their last two children under five years old from each of the selected districts. In all, 200 couples were interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Weighing scales and measuring tapes were used to take the weight and height of the children respectively, while information on age and sex were supplied by the parents of the children. Also, information on weight, height, age and sex were used to compute anthropometric indices of the children. Vaccination cards were requested from couples to determine the extent of completeness of the children's immunization. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results showed that 53.5% and 37% of the male and female respondents respectively had post secondary education, the rest had below a post secondary education. Furthermore, 53.5% and 32.5% of the male and female respondents respectively were civil servants; 18% and 20% respectively were artisans; 10.5% and 7% respectively were farmers; while 10.5% and 25% of the male and female respondents respectively were traders. Furthermore, the average monthly income of the couples revealed that, while the highest proportion of the female respondents (58.1%) earned between N1,000 and N11,000 a month, the highest proportion of the male respondents (34.0%) earned between N11,000 and N21,000 a month. It was observed that only 54.5% of the children completed immunization schedules, while their nutritional status showed that 95% were not wasting, 76.5% were well nourished and 31% were not stunted. The study further found out that couples' education (father: x2 = 12.90. p< 0.05; mother: x2 = 12.47 p< 0.05) and occupation (father: x2 = 26.3, p< 0.05; mother: x2 = 13.26. p< 0.05) had significant effects on the immunization completeness of the children. Results from the logistic regression further showed that couples' income had a positive and significant effect on children's nutritional status (father: Exp B =1.000, p<0.05; mother: Exp B= 1.000, p<0.05). The study concluded that children's immunization completeness increased with couples' socio-economic status and the children largely had healthy growth indicators.