PREVALENCE AND FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH UNDERNUTRITION AMONG CHILDREN UNDER FIVE YEAR ATTENDING MUKONGOLA HOSPITAL, SOUTH-KIVU, DR CONGO
Background: Malnutrition and poor nutrition constitute the number-one driver of the global burden of disease.at the early stages of life. In 1996, the regional civil war in the DRC created an enormous loss of life and socio-economic destruction. Kabare where Mukongola Hospital is implanted has arable land and the territory is near the town of Bukavu but there is proliferation of undernutrition since the beginning of war in 1996. Objectives: To determine the prevalence and factors associated with undernutrition among children under five years attending Mukongola General Referral Hospital. Methods: A facility based, cross-sectional study was conducted on 383 children children under five years in December 2018 and January 2019. Anthropometric measurements of height and weight of 383 study children were taken to identify the. Both anthropometric and non-anthropometric data were entered and analysed using WHO Anthro Software and Stata13. Both bivariate and multivariate analysis (logistic regression model) was used to identify the determinants of child undernutrition. Results: Result of the study revealed that the overall prevalence of undernutrition in the community was high with 61.6% of the children with 9.9% being wasted, 51.9% for stunting and 28% for underweight. Regression analysis shows that the significant determinants of undernutrition were weight of birth, knowledge on prevention and cause of malnutrition, history of breastfeeding, level of education, the characteristic of feeding, marital status, place of delivery, history of child illness, attendance on ANC and the HIV status of the mother. Conclusions: The prevalence of child undernutrition among the under five children was high, indicating that the nutrition situation in study area is critical. Thus, undernutrition is a major public health problem. Further studies should also be encouraged to look for improved interventions.