Determinants of Malnutrition in Children Less Than Five Years in the Bosomtwe District, Ashanti, Ghana

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This was a descriptive study with a cross-sectional design on the determinants of malnutrition among children less than five years in the Bosomtwe district, Ashanti, Ghana. The socially related factors accounting for the high level of malnutrition in the Bosomtwe district is unknown. The aim was to assess the social, demographic, economic, health related predictors for malnutrition among children less than five years. A total of 200 children less than five years were randomly selected and their mothers interviewed using a pre-tested and standardised questionnaire. The study was conducted during August 2008, the harvest season. For women, who are the main caretakers, the harvest season is one of the busiest period of the year. The findings indicate that using Z scores, 32% of the children were malnourished, with 23% being severely malnourished. The predictors for malnutrition included the age of the mother (p=0.00), number of children (p=0.02) employment status (p=0.05), and types of water sources used (p=0.00). It is recommended that collaborative effort of community leaders, health mangers and district assembly should intensify education provide infrastructures that would enable mothers improve the nutritional status of children less than five years in the district.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science (Msc) in Health Service Planning and Management.