Fazia Ghaffar, Saba Tanveer, Syed Saeed Qadir, Samia Aslam.
Malnutrition Or Plague: Prevalence And Determinants Of Chronic Malnutrition Among Pakhtun Under Five Years Children.
J Med Sci Jan ;25(1):10-3.

Objectives: To assess the prevalence and determinants of malnutrition among the Pakhtun under five years children. Material & Methods: This cross sectional study was carried out at the pediatric wards of Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar, Pakistan from November 2010 to March 2011. A total of 200 children were assessed for anthropometric measurements, biochemical blood indices for some nutrients, feeding and weaning practices and a number of socio-demographic factors. Results: Major determinants identified in the current study were poverty, gross illiteracy particularly among mothers, large and complex family structures, large family sizes, late and poor weaning practices and frequent infections. The promising feature was exclusive breast feeding up till 9 months (75%). The data showed stunting (low -height- for- age) after one year and wasting (low- weight- for- height) in the age group 06 months up till one year to be very common. Throughout this age group anthropometry exhibited low trends against the WHO standards. Among the underlying nutritional deficiencies anemia with lower hemoglobin level remained a permanent feature and followed by low blood calcium and serum albumin. Conclusion: Although child malnutrition is multisectorial involving many aspects of life. Poverty, illiteracy, frequent infections, domestic food insecurity and poor dietary practices are the major determinants of malnutrition among the Pakhtuns of this region.

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