A study was conducted in Kazembe and Cinderella areas in Salima district, central Malawi. 80 under-five children and their wards were experimental units for the study. Food frequency based questionnaire and Mid Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) measurements were used to collect data. Data was analyzed using SPSS (version 16). Descriptive statistics was performed where means, frequencies and percentages were derived and presented in graphs and various charts.
Results show that about 90% of the infants in fishing community had normal nutrition status, 10% of the infants were moderately malnourished and no case of severe malnutrition was reported. In a non-fishing community 75% of the children were normal, 17.5% had moderate malnutrition and infants with severe malnutrition were 7.5% of the sample. In the fishing community, prevalence rate of Marasmus was at 7%, Kwashiorkor (9%), Night blindness (6%), Goitre (1%), Rickets (2%). In non-fishing community the prevalence rate for Marasmus was at 15%, Kwashiorkor (19%), Night blindness (8%), Goitre (2%) and rickets. Therefore, the study recommends conceited efforts on advocacy of fish consumption among pregnant and lactating mothers as well as under five children to improve their nutritional and health status.
Mlauzi M, Mzengereza K