Nutritional Status of Children Living with Nodding Disease Syndrome and Copying Strategies of Their Families in Uganda

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Published: 2023-12-31

Page: 69-77


Enyagu Peter

Department of Public Health, Uganda Christian University, Uganda.

Joel Bazira *

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mbarara University of Science and AMP, Technology, Uganda.

Pauline Petra Nalumaga

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Mbarara University of Science and AMP, Technology, Uganda.

Gloria Kirungi

Department of Public Health, Uganda Christian University, Uganda.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

In northern Uganda, it is estimated that over 3,541 children in the districts of Kitgum, Pader and Lamwo were affected by nodding disease syndrome (NDS). The nodding Disease syndrome continues to manifest itself in Children in Akwang, Kitgum and other parts of Northern Uganda causing progressive cognitive dysfunction, neurological deterioration and stunted growth. This study sought to determine the nutritional status of children with NDS in Akwang Sub County, Kitgum District, identify the factors influencing this nutritional status and delineate the coping strategies at the household level.

Methods: This was a cross sectional study where both qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Children between 5-18 years with Nodding Disease Syndrome were chosen after their parents consented, and Akwang HCIII in Akwang sub county, Kitgum district was considered. This was majorly done for all children registered with the health Centre III and suffering from NDS, 123 children aged (5-18 years) were sampled and their parents/guardians were then traced using the snowballing method to their respective households from where consent was sought. They then participated by way of answering the questionnaire and taking of the anthropometric measurements of the children. We then used SPSS for analyzing quantitative data and Dedoose for qualitative data.

Results: A total of 123 participants took part in the Study. Participants reported that prevalence of malnutrition in the NDS children is very high and this could be attributed to seizures while feeding, religious beliefs and age at weaning.  Various coping mechanism include rearing animals, planting different kinds of crops for feeding and rearing cows and goats which are used as food to eat. This would play an important role in fighting malnutrition in NDS children in Northern Uganda.

Conclusion: There is an urgent need to address the through factors that are associated with malnutrition among NDS children, and to strengthen the identified coping mechanisms. Empowering the care takers and prioritizing improvement on economic status could help in fighting malnutrition in NDS children.

Keywords: Nodding disease syndrome, malnutrition, stunted growth


How to Cite

Peter, E., Bazira, J., Nalumaga, P. P., & Kirungi, G. (2023). Nutritional Status of Children Living with Nodding Disease Syndrome and Copying Strategies of Their Families in Uganda. Asian Journal of Research in Medicine and Medical Science, 5(1), 69–77. Retrieved from https://globalpresshub.com/index.php/AJRMMS/article/view/1973

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