Understanding the Risk of Malnutrition in Children 0-Two Years in Maryland County
Kumeh, Odell Wannie
MetadataShow full item record
CitationKumeh, Odell Wannie. 2018. Understanding the Risk of Malnutrition in Children 0-Two Years in Maryland County. Master's thesis, Harvard Medical School.
AbstractBackground: In Liberia, more than 40% of children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Malnutrition is also the principal underlying cause of child mortality and morbidity. This mixed methods study aims to understand the factors influencing malnutrition in rural Liberia.
Methods: We surveyed 100 mothers with nourished and malnourished children. We also conducted 50 in-depth interviews to explore infant malnutrition in rural Liberia. We used logistic regression to analyze the quantitative data and thematic analysis to interpret the qualitative data.
Results: Married women (or those in a domestic partnership) were significantly more likely to have malnourished children (AOR = 6.87). In contrast, higher income (AOR= 0.17), exclusive breastfeeding (AOR=0.19), and being literate (AOR=0.23) were protective against having malnourished children.
Themes that emerged from the in-depth interviews included 1) factors that shape breastfeeding; 2) factors that shaped children’s access to food; 3) reasons for not seeking care at the hospital.
Discussion: Imperial legacies, structural adjustment, exploitative mining and logging companies, and enabled civil war are important macro social determinants of childhood malnutrition in Liberia. This studied provides a more granular depiction of barriers to optimal infant feeding.
Conclusions: Our study demonstrates that there is an urgent need to develop malnutrition that comphrensively addresses issues of poverty and food insecurity. While most interventions focus on providing education on feeding practices to mothers, our study shows that most of the mothers knew adequately the right feeding regimen. However, structural forces prevent them to adequately feed their children.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365179