Nutritional Assessment of Children 12-59 Months in Displaced Families in Baghdad

Abstract

Background: Malnutrition is one of the major public health problem in developing countries. In Iraq, more than 22% of children under five are stunted, and more than 8 % are underweight. The objectives of the study were to assess the nutritional status of children aged 12-59 months, of internally displaced families into Baghdad, Iraq and in order to establish and provide baseline information on the health and nutritional status of the target group. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in Baghdad city, with a sample size 1009, selected through cluster sampling. Data were collected by using a pretested structured questionnaire, Nutritional status was assessed using anthropometric measurements of height, weight, and was compared with Iraq-WHO standards. Dietary assessment was based on past week consumption. Results: According to height for age Z-score, out of 1009 children studied, (66%) were normal while (34%) were stunted. According to weight for age Z score, (87.3%) children were normal, (12.7%) were underweight. According to weight for height Z-score, (91.7%) children were normal while (8.3%) were wasted. Conclusion: malnutrition prevalence in internally displaced families in Baghdad city is higher than the national malnutrition prevalence of under five children in Iraq. Malnutrition prevalence was higher in children having macronutrients and micronutrients deficiencies, absent father, newly displaced families and children suffering from severe, recurrent respiratory problems