A CROSS-SECTIONAL DESCRIPTIVE STUDY OF NUTRITIONAL STATUS AND DISTRIBUTION OF COMMON ILLNESSES AMONG SCHOOL GOING CHILDREN OF AGE 5 - 10 YEARS IN A RURAL PRIMARY SCHOOL IN TRICHY DISTRICT, TAMILNADU
Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences
BACKGROUND Malnutrition is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children of 3 rd world countries including India. This study is undertaken to find out the present status of undernutrition among a particular rural school in Irungalur village in the age group of 5-10 years, and the comorbid conditions which are present in these children. Undernutrition, early marriage, anaemia and illnesses, low birth weight babies in the mother greatly contribute to malnutrition and poor scholastic
... poor scholastic performance among children especially in the 5-10 years age group where the growth potential and cognitive development is very high. MATERIAL AND METHODS A cross-sectional descriptive study was undertaken in the month of February 2017 among 134 School children between ages of 5 -10 years belonging to rural village area of Chennai Medical College Hospital & Research Centre, Irungalur situated 30 km outskirts of Trichy district. Agricultural labour was the main occupation among the parents of these children. Trichy being delta region rice cultivation is the main occupation in this area and the rural poor people, both men and women are engaged in agricultural labour and belong to low socioeconomic status. This village constitutes mostly these agricultural labourers and their children study in this government aided primary school. RESULTS All 134 children between 5 -10 years studying in Government aided primary school, Irungalur between 1 st & 5 th Standard were taken up for study, out of which 83 were male and 51 were female. Their height and weight were measured. Height was measured using stadiometer and weight was measured using electronic weighing machine. Each child was screened for routine, general and systemic examination starting from head to toe and for any illnesses. On analysing their weight, grading the children according to IAP classification for weight for age, 37.30% were > 80% of the expected weight, 40.29% were grade I, 20.14 % were grade II, 4.47% were grade III. According to Waterlow classification for height for age, 75.37% were above 95% of expected height, 18.65% were grade I, 5.22% were grade II, 0.74% were grade III. On disease morbidity, the commonest illness was URI with 23.79% and the other common illnesses were anaemia (22.38 %) and dental caries (13.43%). Other illnesses were learning disability with 2.9% and Impetigo with 2.23%. CONCLUSION It is therefore concluded that 64.9% were malnourished whereas the national average of malnutrition is 42.5%. 1 Analysing their height, 24.61% were below 95 th percentile of expected height for age whereas the national average is 48.3%. Similarly, the most common illness found in children was URI with 23.79% and the other common illnesses were Anaemia (22.38%) and dental caries (13.43%).