Factors associated with nutritional deficiencies among older persons in Kawempe Division, Kampala District
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The main purpose of this study was to establish the factors associated with nutrition deficiencies amongst older persons in Kawempe division, Kampala District. This was a cross sectional study done on 96 older men and women. The association between dependent and each of the independent was variables was achieved by the use of chi square test. There was significant statistical association between wasting which was used to measure malnutrition among old people who were currently working in Kawempe and some independent variables like highest level of education, total children ever born, eating a balanced diet and affordability of basic needs since the Pearson’s chi square p-value was greater than 0.05. However, the majority of the respondents were malnourished. Malnutrition is, therefore, an important public health burden among the elderly in the region and therefore deserves attention. The formulation and implementation of a national policy on the elderly and nutrition education targeting the whole populace is urgently needed in Uganda to ensure healthy aging. The study recommends that: highest level of education variable which appears to be one of the most important factors influencing nutritional status of old people. This suggests that programs aimed at sensitizing communities, households and old people about the importance of eating a balanced diet could help to reduce diseases among old people due to malnutrition. Additionally, limited access to basic needs of life which include food and other materials influences the nutritional status of old people, encouragement of older people to participate in politics and productive economic activities in the country should be a priority of the government and non-government organizations as it can provide an alternative source of income for the elderly persons thus improving their status in the community. Besides that, the government should also increase on the monthly amount of money given to old people in the country since what is given to them is not enough to acquire the basic needs. Further research is necessary that infers on norms and behaviors of old people as they relate to their nutrition status in Uganda.