Profile of mothers whose children are treated for malnutrition at a rural district hospital in the North West province, South Africa

Kebogile Mokwena*, Jim Kachabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study profiled mothers whose children were admitted to hospital for malnutrition in a rural hospital in the North West province. Method: A quantitative and cross-sectional design, using a researcher-developed questionnaire, was used to collect data from 94 mother and child pairs who were admitted to hospital for malnutrition. Stata statistical software was used to analyse the data. Results: The ages of the mothers ranged from 17 to 48 years. Most (83%) lived in dwellings that had electricity, and 92% had running water in their households. Some 83% were not married and 97% were unemployed. Mothers between the ages of 21 and 25 years had the highest number of children with malnutrition (37%, n = 34), followed by mothers between the ages of 26 and 30 years (28%, n = 26). Severe acute malnutrition was experienced by children whose mothers were comparatively young (age group 16–20), accounting for 44.4% of malnourished children. The association between category of malnutrition and maternal age was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Although malnutrition of the children cuts across all maternal age groups, severe acute malnutrition tends to occur among children whose mothers are either young or relatively older, which suggests a need for specific community-based interventions among these groups of mothers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSouth African Journal of Clinical Nutrition
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Rural settings
  • child malnutrition
  • child mortality
  • maternal factors
  • nutrition

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