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Under-five Protein Energy Malnutrition Admitted at the University of In Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu: a 10 year retrospective review

Agozie C Ubesie12*, Ngozi S Ibeziako12, Chika I Ndiokwelu3, Chinyeaka M Uzoka3 and Chinelo A Nwafor3

Author affiliations

1 Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Enugu, Nigeria

2 Department of Paediatrics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria

3 Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria

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Citation and License

Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:43  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-43

Published: 14 June 2012

Abstract

Objective

To determine the prevalence, risk factors, co-morbidities and case fatality rates of Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) admissions at the paediatric ward of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, South-east Nigeria over a 10 year period.

Design

A retrospective study using case Notes, admission and mortality registers retrieved from the Hospital’s Medical Records Department.

Subjects

All children aged 0 to 59 months admitted into the hospital on account of PEM between 1996 and 2005.

Results

A total of 212 children with PEM were admitted during the period under review comprising of 127 (59.9%) males and 85(40.1%) females. The most common age groups with PEM were 6 to 12 months (55.7%) and 13 to 24 months (36.8%). Marasmus (34.9%) was the most common form of PEM noted in this review. Diarrhea and malaria were the most common associated co-morbidities. Majority (64.9%) of the patients were from the lower socio-economic class. The overall case fatality rate was 40.1% which was slightly higher among males (50.9%). Mortality in those with marasmic-kwashiokor and in the unclassified group was 53.3% and 54.5% respectively.

Conclusion

Most of the admissions and case fatality were noted in those aged 6 to 24 months which coincides with the weaning period. Marasmic-kwashiokor is associated with higher case fatality rate than other forms of PEM. We suggest strengthening of the infant feeding practices by promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, followed by appropriate weaning with continued breast feeding. Under-five children should be screened for PEM at the community level for early diagnosis and prompt management as a way of reducing the high mortality associated with admitted severe cases.

Keywords:
PEM; Under-five children; Case fatality; Co-morbidities; Admission; Enugu