The aim of this study was to determine the factors that influence the prevalence of malnutrition in children aged between 6 to 59 months in the Ouaddaï province, Chad by assessing the nutritional status of children, and the living standards in households, the individual dietary diversity, the hygienic practices and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) practices. This is a descriptive cross-sectional prospective study that involved a total of 185 children aged from 6 to 59 months with their respective mothers. This study was conducted using a structured questionnaire for children’s mothers to collect data on sociodemographic and socioeconomic parameters, 24-h individual dietary diversity, hygienic practices and IYCF. The nutritional status was assessed using targeted anthropometric parameters on children according to the World Health Organization (WHO). These standards allowed classifying children by name and by calculating the prevalence of acute, chronic malnutrition and underweight. A significant chi-square test of the 5% threshold was used to see the links between the main study variables. Results showed that 10.3% of children were emaciated, 38.9% suffered from chronic malnutrition and 33.0% suffered from underweight. Among these children, 47.6% are from precarious household, 58.3% practice poor food hygiene, 91.4% were lit mixed, 62.7% were abruptly weaned and 47.1% received complementary foods below 6 months of age. The analyses showed that the factors that have a significant influence on malnutrition, especially on the low nutritional status of children, are the birth order, the living standards in households, the hygienic practices, the IYCF and the Dietary Diversity Score (DDS) (p <0.05).
Malnutrition is a public health problem in developing countries in general and it is endemic in the Sahelian region of Africa. The fighting against malnutrition in all its forms must be multisectorial and multidisciplinary. Collaboration from all sectors and at all levels is very important to improve the nutritional status of Children in the world.
Factors, Malnutrition, Children, Food practices, Ouaddaï, Chad