Role of Dietary Habits Modification in Improving Haemoglobin of Anaemic Children in a Rural Village in Egypt SC23-SC28
Dr. John Rene Labib,
7 Abd El Kadar Hatem Street, Cairo, Egypt.
Introduction: Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common cause of childhood anaemia worldwide. In Egypt, more than one in four children aged from 6-59 months suffer from some degree of anaemia. Nutritional education intervention is required in any population as it improves knowledge and practices which reinforces healthful eating. Moreover, because habits and attitudes formed in early life are transferred into the future adult’s life style, it is important that nutritional education intervention to target children and their mothers.
Aim: To test the impact of a nutrition education message delivered to mothers of under-five years of age children presenting with mild anaemia, through encouraging mothers to provide a diverse range of local iron rich food to their anaemic children.
Materials and Methods: This community-based intervention study was conducted on mothers of children under age of five in Meet rahina rural Primary Health Center (PHC) Giza, along a period of one year starting from January 2017. Phase I: Screening of children under-five years of age (1220) seeking PHC services for a long period of two months by Eastern Oregon University anaemia questionnaire. A score of =5 means children are at risk for anaemia. Phase II : Total 660 children with score =5 at risk for anaemia were screened by laboratory investigations (haemoglobin, urine, stool). Phase III : Among 660, 323 mild anaemic children were subjected to clinical examination and anthropometric measures. Phase IV : Mothers, whose children were anaemic were provided with group health education sessions, aiming to enhance children feeding practices and their dietary intakes.
Statistical analysis for different variables was done. To evaluate the effect of intervention, haemoglobin percent change was calculated as an indicator of improving health status of anaemic children.
Results: The mean haemoglobin level before intervention was 10.4±0.2 then it improved after the intervention to become 10.7±0.4. The mean of the haemoglobin percent change was 2.5±1.8. The majority of the children (268 (89.3%)) whose mothers received the intervention evinced haemoglobin improvement. Families whose monthly income was sufficient with saving ability and those who lived in houses with crowding index less than three individuals per room displayed significantly higher mean haemoglobin percent change (p-value =0.001). Also, it showed a positive, correlation with mean of haemoglobin before intervention and weight for age Z-score.
Conclusion: Practically, knowledge acquired through educational intervention is translated into better children feeding practices. Comprehensive nutritional education regarding anaemia can have a great impact on the lives of future adults.