Factors Associated With Nutritional Status among Children with Visceral Leishmaniasis (Vl) Attending Kacheliba Subcounty Hospital, West Pokot County, Kenya

Ann Iruata Namulen, Simon Karanja, Yeri Kombe


Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) causes considerable morbidity and mortality in Kenya. However, data on the factors associated with nutritional status among children aged 5-12 years at Kacheliba Sub County Hospital is nonexistent. This study sought to determine factors associated with the nutritional status among children aged 5-12 years with visceral leishmaniasis, in West Pokot County. A descriptive cross-sectional design was employed involving both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection. Two hundred and three children aged 5-12years with VL were enrolled in the study. Data was analyzed using chi-square to test the association between the variables, odds ratio reression was used to test the multivariate relationships between various independent and dependent variables. WAZ and HAZ scores measures showed that malnutrition among these children there existed at 30.5% o. Factors such as the guardian age, sex, monthly income, the length of illness, number of children in the household as well as level of education influenced the prevalence of malnutrition among these children. The study also established that knowledge, attitude and practices of these guardians also influenced prevalence of malnutrition among the children. The study concluded that there was interplay between malnutrition and VL among children and recommended that detailed surveys to establish the prevalence of malnutrition among communities where VL is rampant and coming up with initiatives of ensuring food security was necessary.

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