NUTRITIONAL ASSESSMENT OF ORPHANS RESIDENT IN ORPHANAGE HOMES IN NIGERIAAbstract:
The ever-increasing number of orphans as vulnerable children is of a great concern to nutritionists and health personnel, although, in Nigeria, few studies have been able to describe their nutritional status. This study was aimed at assessing nutritional status of orphaned school-age children resident in orphanage homes in Nigeria. A cross sectional descriptive survey was conducted among 6-10 year-old orphaned school-age children resident in orphanage homes in Lagos and Ogun State. Purposive and simple random sampling techniques were adopted to select one hundred (100) orphans from orphanage homes within the study area. Validated semi-structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on demographics characteristics, measurement of their weight and height were taken to arrive at their Body Mass Index (BMI) and 24-hour dietary recall questionnaire was administered. Nutritional status was determined using WHO-Anthro plus, food intake data was analyzed using Total Dietary Assessment software and further analyzed using descriptive statistics, Chi square test and ANOVA at p=0.05. Average age of the respondents was 8±2.5years, average height 135.5±14.1cm and average weight, 28.9±5.kg. The prevalence of obesity as measured by BMI for boys showed that none was overweight, 34% were mildly/moderately wasted and none was severely wasted, while for the girls, 2% were overweight, 40% normal, 58% were mildly/moderately wasted while none was severely wasted. The nutrient intakes of the respondents were lower than WHO recommendation and there was no difference in the nutrient intake of boys and girls (p<0.05%). Children in the orphanage homes in Nigeria are under-nourished. Findings suggest interventions aimed at decreasing malnutrition among them.