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|Title: ||Nutritional and cognitive deficits of school-age children A study in helminth-endemic fishing and farming communities in Ghana|
|Authors: ||Tandoh, Marina Aferiba|
Mills-Robertson, Felix Charles
Wilson, Michael David
Anderson, Alex Kojo
|Issue Date: ||18-Jul-2019|
|Publisher: ||Emerald Publishing Limited|
|Abstract: ||Purpose – The purpose of this study was to elucidate the association between helminth infections, dietary
parameters and cognitive performance, as well as the predictors of undernutrition among school-age children
(SAC) living in helminth-endemic fishing and farming communities in Ghana.
Design/methodology/approach – This was a cross sectional study involving 164 (9 to 12 years old)
SAC from fishing (n = 84) and farming (n = 80) communities of the Kwahu Afram Plains South District of the
Eastern Region of Ghana, using structured questionnaires and anthropometric and biochemical assessments.
Findings – Overall, 51.2% of the children were males, with no significant gender difference between the
communities (p= 0.88). Average age of the children was 10.5 6 1.25 years, with no significant difference
between the farming and fishing communities (p= 0.90). About 53.1% of all children were anemic, with no
significant differences between farming versus fishing communities (p= 0.87). Helminth-infected children
were significantly anemic (p= 0.03). Mean serum zinc level of all children was 13.1 6 4.57 mmol/L, with zinc
deficiency being significantly higher in children in the farming community (p < 0.0001). About 7.5% of all the
children were underweight, whilst 13.8% were stunted with a higher proportion of stunting occurring among
older children (p= 0.001) and girls (p= 0.117). There was no significant difference in the Raven’s Colored
Progressive Matrices cognitive test scores between the two communities (p= 0.79). Predictors of anemia were
helminthiasis and pica behavior.
Originality/value – These findings are relevant and have the prospect of guiding the development of
intervention programs in addressing the persistent problem of nutritional and cognitive deficits among SAC.|
|Description: ||An article published by Emerald Publishing Limited and also available at DOI 10.1108/NFS-01-2019-0035|
|Appears in Collections:||College of Science|
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