Nutritional status of under fives attending maternal and child health clinics in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.East Afr Med J 1997; 74(6):368-71EA
We designed a study to assess the nutritional status of children under five years of age attending MCH clinics in Dar es Salaam. This was a cross-sectional anthropometric study involving children 6-24 months who from July to August 1993 were attending Magomeni MCH clinic and those aged 18 months to five years who were attending Lugalo and Mwananyamala MCH clinics for routine growth monitoring and for vaccination between May to August 1994. The data collected included age, birthweight, sex, weight, height, breastfeeding status and HIV-1 serostatus. Of the 1854 children enrolled (961 boys and 893 girls) 31.6% were stunted, 14.6% were underweight and 2.9% were wasted. The highest percentage of stunting and wasting was observed between 11 and 25 months and 36 to 40 months. Of the 849 children tested for HIV-1, 14 (1.7%) were seropositive and two out of 770 (0.3%) were born with low weight. HIV seropositivity and low birthweight were both associated with stunting and wasting. We conclude that malnutrition is still a sizeable problem among children attending urban MCH clinics in Dar es Salaam especially among those aged less than three years, to whom special malnutrition control strategies should be targeted. There is also a need to identify factors responsible for the observed decline in MCH attendance with age and correct the situation.