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Original Articles

Growth and nutritional status of institutionalised children under five years in Colombo district, Sri Lanka

Authors:

Nimesha Chamidani Gamhewage ,

Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo, Sri Lanka, LK
About Nimesha
Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, Colombo,Sri Lanka 
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Guwani Liyanage,

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Guwani

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka

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Ruwanthi Perera

Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka, LK
About Ruwanthi
Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka
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Abstract

Introduction: Institutional care is the commonest solution for children deprived of parental care in Sri Lanka. They have multiple risk factors which can contribute to a worse outcome with regard to growth and development. Data regarding growth of Sri Lankan institutionalised children are lacking.

Objective: To assess growth and nutritional status of institutionalised children less than five years of age in the Colombo district.

Method: It is a descriptive cross sectional study conducted in 8 randomly selected voluntary foster care institutions in the Colombo District housing children less than five years old. Children with an uncertain date of birth, chronic illnesses and genetic or congenital defects were excluded from the study. Data on growth were compared with information on malnutrition of children below 5 years in Sri Lanka.

Results: One hundred and eighty children were enrolled in the study. Among girls, 21% had moderate stunting and 13% severe stunting. In boys, 30% were moderately stunted and 8% severely stunted. In girls, prevalence of moderate and severe underweight was 25% and 18% respectively. In boys, 26% had moderate underweight and 17% had severe underweight. Whilst 20% of girls and 14% of boys were moderately wasted, 7% of girls and 8% of boys were severely wasted. Prevalence of stunting, underweight and wasting was significantly higher in the study cohort. (p<0.001 for all three categories of malnutrition). 

Conclusion: Children less than five years of age in foster care institutions in Colombo district have significant growth impairment. 

Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health, 2017; 46(3): 230-233

How to Cite: Gamhewage, N.C., Liyanage, G. & Perera, R., (2017). Growth and nutritional status of institutionalised children under five years in Colombo district, Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Child Health. 46(3), pp.230–233. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljch.v46i3.8323
Published on 05 Sep 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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