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IJPR 9[3] July - September 2017 Special Issue

July - September 9[3] 2017

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Assessment of the Parameters of Malnutrition Among Internally Displaced Children in Najaf Province

Abstract: Adequate nutrition is important in early childhood to ensure growth, perfect organ formation and function, a powerful immune system and neurological & cognitive development. Growth retardation is usually associated with other problems, like anemia. and vitamin A deficiency. These groups of nutritional problems, increased during periods of vulnerability, affect at least a third of all young children in developing countries. If the nutrition status of children is corrected, future generations will be healthier and more productive, and this will be imply a positive impact on the national economic development. Malnutrition is also associated with a high number of nutrition related deaths, so children with moderate malnutrition have an increased risk of mortality and if some of these moderately malnourished children do not get adequate support, they may progress towards severe acute malnutrition (severe wasting). Nutritional requirements of those children can in theory be estimated by a factorial method using their body weight. Wasted children have a low lean body mass in relation to their height, usually related to a low fat stores and low muscle mass. This study was conducted on 100 internally displaced children with ages of 3-4 years old. They were randomly selected from different camps for internally displaced people (IDP) at Najaf-Karbala street. Children body mass index (BMI) was measured by the standard method depending on their weights and heights. Other parameters including the presence of nail white spot (NWS), irrational crying (IC), taking of dietary supplements (DS) were screened. According to WHO percentile regarding the categorization of BMI among children, it was found that 68% of girls with ages of 3 years have a BMI located with the 3 percentile WHO category. It was also found that the percentage of BMIs for children that located within other WHO percentile categories that include 15 rd percentile is 7%, 50 th percentile was 11% for each of these WHO percentile categories, while it was only 3.5% for the last category(99.9% WHO category) within the same above age and gender group. On the other hand, 4 years old girls BMI percentages were 63%, 19%, 7.4% and 11%. Those were located within 3 th percentile and 85 th and 99.9 WHO percentile categories, respectively. Regarding the boys with 3 years old, it was found that their 60%, 10%, 20% and 10% have a BMIs located within 3 rd , 15 th , 85 th and 99.9 WHO percentile categories, respectively. Meanwhile, the percentage of 4 years old boys that their BMIs were located within 3 rd , 15 th , 50 th , 85 th and 99.9 WHO percentile categories, were 68%, 12%, 8%,8%,and 4%, respectively. It was also found that 52% of all children having nail white spot(NWS), irrespective to their genders. 88% of all children participated in this study had never used a dietary supplement during their entire period of displacement. Daily irrational crying was found in 36% of all children with only 23% occasionally cry. It is concluded from this study that the internally displaced children are severely malnourished and special attention and care should be paid to ensure a healthier and productive future.
Keyword: Malnutrition, Internally Displaced Children, IDC.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31838/ijpr/2020.12.01.078
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