Characterizing undernourished children under-five years old with diarrhoea in Mozambique: a hospital based cross-sectional study, 2015-2019

Júlia Sambo, Marta Cassocera, Assucênio Chissaque, Adilson Fernando Loforte Bauhofer, Clémentine Roucher, Jorfélia Chilaúle, Idalécia Cossa-Moiane, Esperança L Guimarães, Lena Manhique-Coutinho, Elda Anapakala, Diocreciano M Bero, Jerónimo S Langa, Katja Polman, Luzia Gonçalves, Nilsa de Deus

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    Diarrhoea is associated with undernutrition and this association is related to increased morbidity and mortality in children under-five. In this analysis we aimed to assess the frequency and associated factors of undernutrition in children under-five with diarrhoea. A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted from January 2015 to December 2019 through a surveillance system in five sentinel hospitals in Mozambique. Sociodemographic and clinical information was collected, including anthropometry. A total of 963 children were analysed. The overall undernutrition frequency was 54.1% (95% CI: 50.9-57.2), with 32.5% (95% CI: 29.6-35.5) stunting, 26.6% (95% CI: 23.9-29.6) wasting and 24.7% (95% CI: 22.1-27.5) underweight. Children from Nampula province had 4.7 (p = 0.016) higher odds for stunting compared with children from Maputo. Children whose caregiver was illiterate had higher odds of being underweight 5.24 (p < 0.001), and the wet season was associated with higher odds 1.70 (p = 0.012) of being wasted. Children born under 2500 g of weight had 2.8 (p = 0.001), 2.7 (p < 0.001) and 2.6 (p = 0.010) higher odds for being underweighted, wasted and stunted, respectively. The HIV positive status of the children was associated with higher odds of being underweight 2.6 (p = 0.006), and stunted 3.4 (p = 0.004). The province, caregiver education level, wet season, child's birthweight and HIV status were factors associated with undernutrition in children with diarrhoea. These findings emphasise the need for additional caregiver's education on the child's nutrition and associated infectious diseases. More studies are needed to better understand the social context in which a child with diarrhoea and undernutrition is inserted.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1164
    Issue number6
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 2022


    • Child
    • Cross-Sectional Studies
    • Diarrhea/epidemiology
    • Hospitals
    • Humans
    • Mozambique/epidemiology
    • Prevalence


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