EVALUATION OF THE NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF JUNIOR PRIMARY SCHOOL PUPILS IN OHAJI/EGBEMA L.G.A OF IMO STATE

AUTHOR : ANOZIE, ALEXANDRA  OBIAGELI.(MSc)

DEPARTMENT : BIOCHEMISTRY

AFFILIATION : FEDERAL UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, OWERRI.

The nutritional status of junior primary school pupils in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State was evaluated. The study subjects were selected by random sampling from four (4) different Schools. A total of two hundred (200) pupils, from primary one (1) to primary three (3) were used and a general analysis was drawn from the studied population. Their vitamin A, total iron, total iron binding capacity, haemoglobin, serum albumin, and ferritin levels were determined using spectrophotometric and derivation method. Anthropometric indices were also studied. Relevant information was obtained from these pupils, using questionnaires. Results obtained showed that there was significant difference between age and the nutritional status of junior primary school pupils in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State. The incidence of malnutrition was recorded higher in the female pupils than the males. Parental occupation had a significant effect on the mean BMI of these pupils. The pupils’ feeding habit and the number of children living in the homes of these pupils were significant risk factor for the prevalence of iron deficiency. A significant relationship was observed between the pupils’ parental occupation and the incidence of anaemia. Parental educational background of pupils significantly affected the haemoglobin level with highest prevalence of anaemia among pupils whose parents were illiterates. The findings in this study showed that malnutrition is apparently prevalent in our country, with rural dwellers being quite vulnerable, as evident in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State.
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