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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 55

Undernutrition and morbidity profile of exclusively breastfeeding children: A cross-sectional study

1 Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation, Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh
2 Communicable Disease Control (CDC), DGHS, Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh
3 Hospital Service Management, DGHS, Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh
4 TB/HIV Control Program, BRAC, BRAC Centre, Mohakhali, Dhaka, Bangladesh
5 Aichi Medical College and Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh
6 Associates for Community and Population Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Correspondence Address:
Sumon Chandra Debnath
Bangladesh Breastfeeding Foundation, Mohakhali, Dhaka-1212
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpvm.IJPVM_201_17

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Background: Undernutrition is common and has been recognized as a public health problem in Bangladesh. It has devastating effects on any population as it increases morbidity children and reduces the quality of life of all affected. The study was done with the objective to assess the undernutrition and morbidity profile in children who have completed exclusive breastfeeding. Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study, which was carried out among children aged 6–12 completed months attending a tertiary level hospital in Bangladesh. A total of 251 children were selected through convenient sampling from January to December 2015. Nutritional assessment was done in terms of underweight, stunting, and wasting. Results: One hundred and forty-three (57.0%) were boys while 108 (43.0%) were girls. The prevalence of undernutrition (Z-score ≤−2) was observed in 11.2%, 16.3%, and 12.0% based on stunting, underweight, and wasting. Among 251 children, 16.7% were not suffering any diseases, whereas majorities (69.7%) were suffering from single disease and 13.5% were suffering from multiple diseases. Cough and fever (55.0%), pneumonia (18.3%), measles (9.9%), and diarrhea (8.3%) were the most common cause of infectious morbidity observed in children. Conclusions: The prevalence of undernutrition was high in the study population, and it continues to be a public health burden because of its major effect on morbidity and impairment of intellectual and physical development in long-term. Increasing the practice of exclusive breastfeeding, the introduction of timely complementary feeding, and standard case management of morbidities would be beneficial to combat the problem of undernutrition.

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