Malnutrition is the most common pathological condition of deficiency/excess of necessary nutrients. It is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in children worldwide. It causes 60% deaths of children in the developing countries. The current study investigated types, risk factors and co-morbidities of Protein Energy Malnutrition in children at Gadarif eastern Sudan. It was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted during 2017. Seventy-eight children (<15 years old) with confirmed PEM were selected for this study through Gadarif Hospital. 62.8% of the children were males and 37.2% were females. 92.3% of the affected children belonged to 0-3 years old age group. There was significant statistical difference between the age groups and PEM (χ2 = 34.876, df =12, p=0. 000). Underweight (30.8%) was the most common form of PEM. Low socioeconomic status (96.2%) which includes poverty was observed. Illiteracy of mothers was 94.9% and for fathers it was 89.7% (statistically significant p=0. 034). Family size associated with the disease was significant (χ2 = 71.821, p=0. 02). Malaria (57.7%) and anemia (26.9%) were the most common associated co-morbidities. 65.4% of the children were recovered and discharged with good condition while 5.1% of the children died due to hypothermia, severe dehydration and hypovolemic shock. PEM in Gadarif, Sudan was due to low socioeconomic status, illiteracy and large family size. For effective management of malnutrition; multiple and synergistic interventions must be implemented in agriculture and micronutrients as well as nutrition-based education, provision of balanced-quality health services and fighting of illiteracy and poverty.
Published Date: 2019-05-23; Received Date: 2019-04-04