PREVALENCE AND DETERMINANTS OF CHRONIC MALNUTRITION AMONG PRESCHOOL CHILDREN IN THE GAZA STRIP
Basil J. Kanoa, Amin T. Hamed*, Baker M. Zabut**
Clinical Nutrition, College of Pharmacy, Al-Azhar University-Gaza, *Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, Al-Azhar University-Gaza, **Biochemistry and Nutrition, College of Science, Islamic University-Gaza.
Aim: The study aimed to assess the prevalence and determinants of stunting among pre-school age children (PSC) in Gaza Strip.
Material and Methods: A cross sectional study consisted of 571 children aged 5-6 years old from eligible kindergartens in the Gaza strip. A questionnaire was designed to address information about socio-economic and demographic factors, food frequency, and some dietary habits and the anthropometric measurements of children were recorded. A stool sample was obtained from each child for detection of intestinal parasitic infection (IPI). SPSS version 13 was used for analysis.
Results: The overall prevalence of stunting was 11.90% (14.70% for males and 8.80% for females). The prevalence of intestinal parasitic infection (IPI) among stunted children was 28.60% higher than non-stunted ones (20.30%). Logistic regression model was used to identify the determinants of chronic malnutrition. The findings indicated that sex, birth weight and father occupation were determinants of chronic malnutrition.
Conclusion: Stunting is a serious nutritional problem among children of age 5-6 years in the Gaza Strip which requires integrated relevant interventions.