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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 168-173

Health status of children in institutionalised homes in South West Nigeria

Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. B J Brown
Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Aims and Objectives : to determine the nutritional and immunisation status as well as morbidity pattern of children in institutionalised care in south -western Nigeria. Subjects and methods : The study was cross sectional and involved children under the age of fifteen years in seven institutions in Oyo and Ogun states, south western Nigeria. Children admitted into these homes were either orphans or those separated from their parents through child abandonment, illness and juvenile delinquency. A history of current and recent illnesses in the preceding one month as well as immunisation was obtained for each child. Physical examination including growth assessment was then performed after which blood specimens were collected for haematocrit estimation, haemoglobin electrophoresis and examination for malaria parasites. Results: A total of 161 children were studied comprising 74 (46.0%) males and 87 (54.0%) females. Their ages ranged from 1.12 to 168 months with a mean (standard deviation) of 94.5 (47.0) months. Only 24.5 % of the children were reported to have completed the immunisation schedule. Fifty five (34.2%) of the 161 children were reported to have been ill in the preceding period of one month, the leading symptoms being fever (14.9%), cough (10.3%) and diarrhoea (3.9%). Forty six (28.6%) of the children were stunted, 34 (21.1%) underweight and 106 (65.8%) anaemic. Conclusion : The health status of children in institutionalised care is poor and needs better supervision and support to facilitate growth and wellbeing.

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