Global Advanced Research Journal of Food Science and Technology (GARJFST) ISSN: 2315-5098 December 2012 Vol. 1(7), pp 093-097

Copyright © 2012 Global Advanced Research Journals   

 

Original Research Articles

Lingering hunger among primary school pupils residing in rural areas of Borno State, North-Eastern Nigeria: implication for education and food supplementation programs 

*Baba Usman Ahmadu, Ngilari Maigana Usiju, Ahmad Ibrahim, Apagu Adamu Adiel, Delia Tumba, Musa Rimamchika, Joshua Danji Solomon

*Department of Paediatrics, Federal Medical Centre, Yola, Adamawa State, Nigeria

*Corresponding Author's E-mail:ahmadu4u2003@yahoo.com Tel: +2348033668948 

Accepted 06 December 2012


Abstract 

Childhood hunger among rural settlers may be as a result of food insecurity, poor sanitation and illiteracy. The aim of this study was to assess and classify malnutrition into underweight or obesity among primary school pupils, and to provide information to policy makers on the need for education and food supplementation programs. Four hundred primary school pupils from eight different schools in Bama and Banki rural areas of Borno state were selected using the cluster random sampling method. While the WHO Z-scoring method was used to estimate malnutrition, food, dietary habits and physical activities were assessed by way of focal group discussions. Student t test was used to compare means and to test for significance of data. There were 220 (55 %) boys and 180 (45 %) girls in a ratio of 1.2:1. While 248 (62 %) pupils belong to low socioeconomic class, 200 (50 %) were found within 11-13 years age bracket. Overall mean age (SD) was 9 (2.73), 95 CI (6.89-11.11) years. Mean (SD) number of pupils with normal BMI and those with underweight BMI levels were 31.3 (19.01) and 102 (42.8) respectively, and comparison of this means was significant (p< 0.0001). None of our participants was found to be obese in this study. Dietary intake of 272 (68 %) subjects was inadequate in quality and quantity. Most participants 320 (80 %) trek to school, and nearly all subjects 360 (90%) participate in physical education. Large numbers of our study population were underweight, and the proportion of underweight children increased with age. This data suggest the need for education and food supplementation programs geared towards prevention and treating malnutrition in our cohorts. 

Keywords: Hunger, Primary school pupils, Rural areas, Borno, North-Eastern Nigeria.

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