Malnutrition in young children of rural Burkina Faso: comparison of survey data from 1999 with 2009
Objective For measurement of progress towards the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1, reliable data on nutrition indicators of specific countries are essential. Malnutrition is also the main determinant for childhood mortality, which is addressed in MDG 4.
Methods In the health and demographic surveillance area of Kossi Province in north‐western Burkina Faso, nutritional parameters were compared in two cohorts of young children of the same age range from eight villages. Surveys took place in June and December of the year 1999 and 2009. A multivariate model was used to control for confounding variables.
Results For the 1999 study, data were analysed for 179 and 197 children who took part in the June and December survey respectively. In 2009, corresponding data were analysed for 460 and 409 children. Prevalence of underweight was highest in December 1999 (42.6%) and lowest in December 2009 (34.1%). After adjustment for age, sex and village, there was a slight but not always significant improvement in the z‐scores of weight‐for‐age, weight‐for‐length, length‐for‐age, and mid‐arm circumference over time.
Conclusions The findings from this study confirm the still unacceptable high prevalence of malnutrition in young children of rural sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA). Progress in the reduction of malnutrition remains slow on this continent making it rather unlikely that the corresponding MDGs will be achieved. Large‐scale multi‐sectoral community‐based interventions are urgently needed for a sustainable improvement of child health in SSA.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Institute of Public Health, Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany 2: Centre de Recherche en Santé de Nouna, Nouna, Burkina Faso
Publication date: June 1, 2012