Prevalence of malnutrition in children under five and school-age children in Milot Valley, Haiti.

Public health

PubMedID: 25454253

Rollet SR, Gray ES, Previl H, Forrester JE. Prevalence of malnutrition in children under five and school-age children in Milot Valley, Haiti. Public Health. 2014;.
OBJECTIVES
This research aims to provide child malnutrition prevalence data from Haiti's Milot Valley to inform the design and implementation of local health interventions.

STUDY DESIGN
This cross-sectional study measured underweight, stunting, and wasting/thinness using international growth standards.

METHODS
Anthropometric measurements (height/length and weight) were taken on a convenience sample of 358 children aged 0-14 years. Participants were recruited through door-to-door field visits at five recruitment sites in the Milot Valley, including individuals in the waiting area of the Pediatric Outpatient Clinic at Hôpital Sacré Coeur. Caregivers were asked questions about the child's health history, including past and current feeding practices.

RESULTS
Combining moderate and severe forms of malnutrition, 14.8% of children under five were stunted, 15.3% were wasted, and 16.1% were underweight. Among children 5-14 years of age, 14.1% were stunted, 7.6% were thin (low body mass index (BMI)-for-age), and 14.5% were underweight. For children under five, 42% of mothers ended exclusive breastfeeding before the recommended six months.

CONCLUSION
This study illustrates the local magnitude of childhood malnutrition and can serve as a resource for future child health interventions in the Milot Valley. To fight malnutrition, a multipronged, integrated approach is recommended, combining effective community outreach and monitoring, inpatient and outpatient nutrition therapy, and expanded partnerships with nutrition-related organizations in the region.