Effect of child feeding practices on childhood nutritional status among under-five children in Nahuche, Zamfara State, Nigeria.
Malnutrition is a global crisis, an underlying cause of more than 2.6 million child deaths every year while 60 million are stunted globally with Nigeria accounting for 11 million. This study described child feeding practices among under-fives and determined the factors influencing the practices. It further assessed the nutritional status of under-fives and also determined the effect of child feeding practices on nutritional status of under-five children. This was with a view to providing baseline informationon the effect of child feeding practices on nutritional status of under-five children and possible follow up interventions on childhood nutritional issues. The study employed a cross-sectional, descriptive community-based design in which three hundred and ninety-seven primary caregiver/child pairs (Under–5) were selected from Nahuche Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NHDSS) area, Bungudu local government of Zamfara state using multistage sampling technique.Data were collected with the aid of interviewer administered semi-structured questionnairesthat elicitedinformation on respondents’ socio-economic and demographic characteristics, nutritional knowledge (which was evaluated on a scale), feeding practices, respondents’ spouse personal data, index child characteristicsand anthropometric measurements of the children. Data were analyzed using STATA 10, Chi square test was used to determine association between categorical variables while binary logistic regression was used to assess the determinants of good feeding practice at p< 0.05 level of significance. Ethical approval was obtained from the Operation Research Advisory Committee (ORAC) inZamfara State. The results showedthat education, knowledge on nutrition, occupation, and household size were independently associated with child feeding practices at the bivariate level of analysiswhile at multivariate level,mother’s knowledge of child feeding practices was the only statistically significant determinant of positive feedingpractices(OR=40.08, p<0.05).Assessment of nutritional status of children showed that 277 (70%) of children were stunted, 59 (15%) wasted and 147 (37%) underweight. Wasting and underweight were more common among female under-fives (18.3% and 37.7% respectively) compare tomales (11.6% and 36.3% respectively) at (χ2=3.4915 andχ2=0.6893 respectively). However,more male under-fives than females were stunted (72% and 67.6% respectivelyat χ2=1.0024). The study also revealed a significant relationship between wasting and child feeding practices(p-value=0.011). The present nutritional status results suggests the under-five children in the study area are living in appalling conditions which underline the great need for nutritional intervention.