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Orphans are one of the vulnerable groups in the society; this is because of their peculiarity.
The major challenge faced by government, international organizations and NGOs in their response to orphanhood is lack of data on the situation of orphans.
The study was done to assess the feeding practices and nutritional status of orphans in orphanages so as to provide evidence for appropriate nutrition intervention programmes geared towards improvement of orphans’ lives.
A cross sectional study was conducted on 200 orphans aged between 0-5 years living in ten orphanages.
The prevalence of malnutrition among the orphans showed that 45.5% of them were underweight, 63.5% of the children were stunted while 47.5% were wasted.
There was high prevalence of zinc deficiency (60.0%) in relation to 30.0% of iron and 20.0% of vitamin A deficiencies among the orphans.
The prevalence of anaemia was 42.5%.
The study showed that feeding practice was faulty.
These deficiencies were associated with poor feeding practices, low caregiver to child ratio (1:5) and low socio-economic status.
This study shows that malnutrition is still of public health important in Nigeria and it needs urgent attention.
Steve-Edemba Chizoba is a community and public health nutrition specialist.
She has an M.Sc in Human Nutrition (Community/Public Health), Ph.d is in view.
She is a civil servant and has worked in some international project.
she is the author of several articles published in journals and conference proceedings.
she is a member of professional bodies
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