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Does household wealth status play an important role in reducing chronic childhood under-nutrition in meghalaya?

Author: 
Jatin Phukan and Dr. Bipin Gogoi
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

Most of the population in Meghalaya lives in poverty and are unable to obtain proper food for them while historically improvement in households economic conditions have benefited by only certain groups of the society. Thus, the problem of household food insecurity and under-nutrition remain critically important for the state of Meghalaya like any other developing countries of the world. Analysis of the study is based on 4,409 children aged 0-59 months (U-5) with the valid information on heights included in the fourth round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4). Objectives of this study is to examine how wealth status of households associated with nutritional status of children and what extent the children in poorer households were at greater risk of chronically undernourished than children in better-off households. The results of the study indicates that17% of the 4,409 children U-5 lives in the poorest 20% households are 3 times more likely to stunted as compared to the children in the richest 20% households [OR=3.09 at 95% CI (1.98-4.81)]. The effect of household wealth status on stunting significantly large when the analysis was adjusted for child’s age, sex, birth order and duration of breastfeeding [OR=3.66 at 95% CI (2.14-6.25)]. Children born to poorest households are about 4 times [RRR=4.06, at 95% CI (1.63-10.09)] more likely to be severely stunted and 2 times [RRR=2.45, at 95% CI (1.07-5.62)] more likely to be moderately stunted as compared to the children in richest households. This study conclude that household wealth inequality is strongly associated with childhood stunting and its play an important role in reducing chronic childhood under-nutrition in Meghalaya. This study emphasizes that the state government’s direct investments in improving food availability and access to poor households, making services more accessible to vulnerable population, as well as direct targeted nutrition and health interventions for young children will be key to improving health and nutritional status of children in Meghalaya.

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