Food Security And Nutritional Status Of Children In A Fishing Community

ABSTRACT

This study was done to ascertain the food security and nutritional

status of children aged between two and five years in Kpone, a fishing

community in the Greater Accra region of Ghana. The objectives

were to assess (i) some household and child health characteristics,

(ii) dietary adequacy for energy, protein, iron and vitamin A, (iii) the

food security status of the children, (iv) growth by anthropometry and

(v) serum iron and vitamin A status of the children. In the major fish

season, 336 children were involved in the study while the number

reduced to 274 due to attrition in the lean fish season.

Results of the study showed that, 12% of the children had malaria,

6% coughs and 5% measles. The immunization status was

encouraging as 73% had completed all vaccinations against the

childhood killer diseases. Sanitation was rather poor with 74% of the

households found to be in poor living conditions. Diarrhoea

prevalence was very high with as many as 70% of the children having

very severe diarrhoea.

For energy intake, as many as 60% could not meet their

recommended dietary allowance (RDA) in the lean fish season but

there was an improvement in the major season as this level reduced to

51%. Protein requirements were met by 87% of the children in both

seasons while iron needs were satisfied by 40% and 57% of the

children in the lean and major fish seasons respectively. Vitamin A

needs, were met by 58% of the children in both lean and major fish

seasons. There were no significant diffemces in the mean intakes for

energy, protein and vitamin A for the two seasons but there was a

significant difference in the mean intake for iron (p < 0.001). Using the Dietary Energy Adequacy Ratio (DEAR) of 0.8 for food

security status, 68% of the children could be classified as food

insecure in the lean fish season while in the major fish season, the

level reduced to 59%.

With growth determination using anthropometry, prevalence of

stunting (both moderate and severe) was 49% at baseline. Prevalence

of underweight was 46% in the lean season, dropping to 29% in the

major fish season. Wasting prevalence increased from 5% to 8%. The

results show that about a third of the children are not getting enough

to eat and and this has translated into poor growth, hence the rather

high prevalence of undemutrition shown by anthropometry.

The prevalence of iron deficiency in the form of prelatent iron status

showed that as 75% of the children had serum ferritin levels below 50

Hg/1, representing a vulnerable state. In the case of vitamin A status

using retionol binding protein, 12% of the children had serum retinol

binding protein levels below the lower cut off point of 18jag/l.

Children in this community are at risk of poor nutrition and the

community at large can be mapped as one vulnerable to food

insecurity.

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APA

ADDY, P (2021). Food Security And Nutritional Status Of Children In A Fishing Community. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/food-security-and-nutritional-status-of-children-in-a-fishing-community

MLA 8th

ADDY, PAULINA "Food Security And Nutritional Status Of Children In A Fishing Community" Afribary. Afribary, 08 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/food-security-and-nutritional-status-of-children-in-a-fishing-community. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

MLA7

ADDY, PAULINA . "Food Security And Nutritional Status Of Children In A Fishing Community". Afribary, Afribary, 08 Apr. 2021. Web. 30 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/food-security-and-nutritional-status-of-children-in-a-fishing-community >.

Chicago

ADDY, PAULINA . "Food Security And Nutritional Status Of Children In A Fishing Community" Afribary (2021). Accessed May 30, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/food-security-and-nutritional-status-of-children-in-a-fishing-community