UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF MALNUTRITION ON NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN KENYA


UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT OF MALNUTRITION ON NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN KENYA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Dissertation submitted to Premese Africa Development Institute in partial fulfilment for the award of Diploma in Community Health and Development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By

ANN NYAWIRA MAINA

DCHD/SEM-1/FT/004/085/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 


 Declaration

 

This is my original work as a result of independent investigation and has not been presented to any institution for any academic a ward.

 

 

 

RESEARCHER NAME:        ANN NYAWIRA MAINA

 

STUDENT NUMBER:           DCHD/FT/SEM-1/004/085/2007

 

SIGNATURE:

 

 

DATE:

 

 

 

 

Supervisor Declaration

 

I/we acknowledge that this research was conducted by the student under my/our supervision.

 

 

TITLE:            PROGRAMME MANAGER

 

NAME:

 

 

DATE:

 

SIGNATURE:

 

DEDICATION

 

This research project is dedicated to my Family Members, for their support, prayers and encouragement. Special dedication to my husband Daniel Eripon, for his financial support and his words that I will make it; to my daughter Heidi Adahpal and my son Bella Eripon for bearing with my absence though young, they gave me strength to continue.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

 

I wish to extend my thanksgiving to our Almighty God for everything, to all lecturers for their advice, guidance and encouragement; to the entire community of Premese Africa Development Institute for providing a learning environment. Special thanks to Dr. Francis Mulwa for his encouragement. May God bless you all.

 

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

 

Context                                                                                                Page                   

 

 

Acknowledgement   …………………………………………………   3

Introduction ………………………………………………………………   4

Problem Statement ……………………………………………………  5

Importance of Study …………………………………………………   6

Objective of the Study ……………………………………………….   6

Methodology            ……….…………………………………………………   7

Goals met …………………………………………………………….… 7

Challenges …………………………………………………………….. 8

Data Analysis ………………………………………………………..    9

Swot Analysis ………………………………………………………… 12

Table: 1 Respondents attitude towards HIV/AIDS………….……   9

Table: 2 Understanding of HIV/AIDS transmission……..…..…..  10

Table: 3 Understanding of preventive measures…………..….…   10

Table: 4 Respondents knowledge on condoms …….………….…   10

Table: 5 Respondents Attitude towards condoms ………………..  11

Table: 6 Reasons of not using condoms ……………………………. 11

Table: 7 Religions Attitude towards HIV/AIDS and condoms…   11

Conclusions/Recommendations …………………………………..  14

Appendix: 1  References …………………………………………….. 16

Appendix: 2  Interview Questions …….…………………………..  17


Abstract

Malnutrition, defined as underweight, is a serious public-health problem that has been linked to a substantial increase in the risk of mortality and morbidity. Women and young children bear the brunt of the disease burden associated with malnutrition. In Africa and south Asia, 27−51% of women of reproductive age are underweight (ACC/SCN, 2000), and it is predicted that about 130 million children will be underweight in 2005 (21% of all children) (de Onis et al., 2004a). Many of the 30 million low-birth-weight babies born annually (23.8% of all births) face severe short-term and long-term health consequences (de Onis, Blössner & Villar, 1998).

 

In this study we outline the impact of malnutrition on national development. The goal is to xxxxxxx within countries, and enable resources to be deployed more effectively.

 

actions are derived from the assessed exposure (malnutrition) and from the relative risk estimates of disease and death associated with malnutrition. The level of malnutrition in the population groups is assessed by anthropometry (i.e. measurements of body size and composition), using as indicators low birth weight in newborns, low weight-for-age in preschool children, and low body mass index in women. Relative risk estimates for diarrhoea, malaria, measles, acute respiratory infections and other infectious diseases are based on a meta-analysis that was part of a global comparative risk assessment project conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners. Checklists for collecting and analyzing data are also suggested, and a step-by-step example of how to quantify the health impact

associated with malnutrition is given for Nepal, a country in the WHO SEAR D subregion.

 

Estimates of the disease burden of malnutrition give policy-makers an indication of the burden that could be avoided if malnutrition were to be eliminated. Disaggregated estimates (e.g. by age, sex, degree of malnutrition) can also help policy-makers identify the segments of a population most at risk, such as women and children, and direct resources where they will have the greatest effect. Although it is difficult to assess the avoidable burden because of the uncertainties around estimates of risk factors and disease

burdens, the importance of the avoidable burden for policy-making justifies the effort (WHO, 2002).

 


1. Preamble

1.1 What is malnutrition?

The term malnutrition generally refers both to undernutrition and overnutrition, but in this guide we use the term to refer solely to a deficiency of nutrition. Many factors can cause malnutrition, most of which relate to poor diet or severe and repeated infections, particularly in underprivileged populations. Inadequate diet and disease, in turn, are closely linked to the general standard of living, the environmental conditions, and whether a population is able to meet its basic needs such as food, housing and health care.

Malnutrition is thus a health outcome as well as a risk factor for disease and exacerbated malnutrition (Fig. 1.1), and it can increase the risk both of morbidity and mortality.

Although it is rarely the direct cause of death (except in extreme situations, such as famine), child malnutrition was associated with 54% of child deaths (10.8 million children) in developing countries in 2001 (Fig. 1.2; see also WHO, 2004). Malnutrition that is the direct cause of death is referred to as “protein-energy malnutrition” in this guide.

 

Nutritional status is clearly compromised by diseases with an environmental component, such as those carried by insect or protozoan vectors, or those caused by an environment deficient in micronutrients. But the effects of adverse environmental conditions on nutritional status are even more pervasive. Environmental contamination (e.g. destruction of ecosystems, loss of biodiversity, climate change, and the effects of globalization) has contributed to an increasing number of health hazards (Johns & Eyzaguirre, 2000), and all affect nutritional status. Overpopulation, too, is a breakdown

of the ecological balance in which the population may exceed the carrying capacity of the environment. This then undermines food production, which leads to inadequate food intake and/or the consumption of non-nutritious food, and thus to malnutrition.

 

 

On the other hand, malnutrition itself can have far-reaching impacts on the environment, and can induce a cycle leading to additional health problems and deprivation. For example, malnutrition can create and perpetuate poverty, which triggers a cycle that hampers economic and social development, and contributes to unsustainable resource use and environmental degradation (WEHAB, 2002). Breaking the cycle of continuing poverty and environmental deterioration is a prerequisite for sustainable development and survival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Methodology

 

The study was carried out at the end of July 2006 by a group of 9 persons. A total of 30 persons in Kangoya village were interviewed. This study was to asses or determines the level of understanding and perception of the people living in Kangoya village and religion towards safer sex strategies.

 

The group was split into a team of 3 and from the centre of the village a direction was selected for enumeration using a systematic random sampling procedure. Each team interviewed at least 10 people using a simple random sampling procedure.

 

The main instrument for the exercise was in-depth interviews (face to face). The interview questions were very clear and direct with simple language so that the respondents can comprehend questions. The interview schedule was used to collect necessary information. At one point, one team had a focus group discussion with a group of students.

 

Goals met (achievements)

The group were able to carryout the study successfully; despite some constraints during the exercise, the group was able to ascertain the level of understanding and perception of kangoya community towards safe sex strategies. It was evident that the majority of the respondents had inadequate knowledge on the use of condoms. There is need for Kangoya residents to have thorough knowledge about condom use. This includes how to store condoms, check expiry dates, open packets without damaging condoms, roll the condom onto the penis at the best possible time, and remove and dispose of condoms.


Challenges

 

  • Most women respondents did not want to discuss HIV/AIDS or even try to answer any question.

 

  • Believer’s respondent said use of condom is a “murder” according to the Bible. The respondent could not give any further details.

 

  • There were so many out there who have lived with trauma all their life. A woman told her story, when a male sexual partner paid her some money to make love and there after asked her to ensure that out of the cash given to safe 3,000 for a coffin” after disclosing his status. At this point counseling was sought to be necessary although the environment was not conducive. However, small it was, she was happy with the counseling provided.

 

 


Conclusions/Recommendations

 

HIV/AIDS was perceived as a deadly disease for which no treatment was available. All the respondents seemed to have knowledge about HIV/AIDS and most of them appeared to have a limited knowledge on transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS. However, a higher proportion was willing to learn more on the disease.

 

Although major campaigns on awareness and prevention on HIV/AIDS has been operational for many years, no significant change in the knowledge and behaviour of the people has been realised. There is need to explore people’s behaviour and culture beliefs, as this might explain why they have not been open to change.

The fact that, 83% of the respondents did not have access to condoms clearly indicates the need to increase availability and accessibility of good quality condoms at prices every one can afford.

Behaviour change strategies in past have proved to be the most effective long term solutions to the HIV/AIDS crisis, both for individuals and societies. There is need to create an enabling environment and to empower the community of kangoya to adopt safe sex strategies.

 

The fact that religions often argue against condoms distribution, they do not want to approve or facilitate this particular behaviour.  The fact that 2% of the respondents mentioned use of condoms as act of murder as the Bible indicates, this clearly indicates lack of knowledge among the religions. Religions should be pursuing and promoting behaviour change at the deepest and most profound levels, change that touches people at the core of their values, beliefs, hopes, motivation and understanding of reality.

 

Knowledge of preventive measures of AIDS, particularly use of condom was very limited. There were several misconceptions about the sources of the spread of AIDS.

It was evident that the majority of the respondents had inadequate knowledge on the use of condoms. There is need for Kangoya residents to have thorough knowledge about condom use. This includes how to store condoms, check expiry dates, open packets without damaging condoms, roll the condom onto the penis at the best possible time, and remove and dispose of condoms.


Appendix: 1 Reference

 

  1. Community Counselling & Training Centre, Handouts.
  2. William M. Muraah, William N. Kiarie, HIV/AIDS, Facts that could change your life, 2001.
  3. Daily Nation Newspaper, article –

 

 

 

Appendix: 2 Interview Questions:

  1. How old are you?
  2. How many children do you have? 1-5=1, 5-10=2, None=3
  3. Are all your children alive? Yes=1, No=2. If no, explain the cause of death? ____
  4. Education level: Primary=1, High School=2, University=3, None=4
  5. What do you do for a living? ______
  6. Have you ever heard of an illness called HIV/AIDS? Yes = 1, No = 2
  7. Where did you hear about HIV/AIDS? Church=1, Family=2, Health Workers=3, Don’t know=4
  8. What do you feel about HIV/AIDS?
  9. Do you discuss it? Yes=1, No=2
  10. How is HIV/AIDS transmitted? Sex = 1, Body fluids/blood = 3, Mosquitoes = 4, Sharp objects = 5, Don’t know = 6
 

  1. Is there anything a person can do to avoid getting HIV/AIDS? Yes = 1, No = 2, Abstinence = 3, Faithfulness = 4, Condoms = 5, Don’t know = 6
  2. Have you seen this? (show the condom) Yes=1, No=2
  3. Do you use them? Yes=1, No=2
  4. What do you feel about them? Bad = 1

Good = 2, Embarrassing = 3, Don’t know = 4

  1. Do the church talk about them? Yes = 1, No = 2. If no, why not? ________

 

 

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