Determinants of malnutrition in two states in Sudan

Angie B Tanyi, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Nearly one in three children in the developing world is malnourished. Poor nutrition contributes to one out of two deaths (53%) associated with infectious diseases among children aged under five in developing countries. Using data from the 2005 World Food Program’s (WFP) Livelihood Vulnerability and Nutritional Assessment of Rural Kassala and Red Sea State this study examines the impact of female headed households and maternal education on malnutrition in children 6-59 months old. The dependent variable investigated in this study is moderate to severe wasting or less than -2 weight for height Z-score, also known as global acute malnutrition (GAM). The study population consisted of 450 households in Kassala State and Red Sea State, Sudan. A total of 900 children 6-59 months of age were part of the households sampled from these states and one child per household (773 children) was randomly chosen for the analysis along with the child’s mother. Results of the study found that 18 percent of children between 6-59 months of age had GAM/wasting. Maternal education, main source of water, and income were strongly related to wasting. Gender of head of household was not found to have a significant relationship with GAM/wasting. Mothers with at least primary education were much less likely to have malnourished children, even after controlling for income and environmental conditions. Children in households with unsafe sources of water were 2.6 more likely to have wasting than those with piped in/tube wells as their main source of water. For every increase of 100 dinar in a household, the children in the household are approximately two-thirds times (.662) less likely to be wasted. The results of this study support the alternate hypothesis that there is an association between maternal education on wasting of children 6-59 months old. The results do not, however, support the alternate hypothesis that there is an association between gender of head of household on wasting of children 6-59 months old. Better understanding of the association of wasting and other measures of malnutrition with maternal education levels can program managers and other health officials to target important nutritional and non-nutritional interventions.

Subject Area

Nutrition|Public health|Welfare|Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

Tanyi, Angie B, "Determinants of malnutrition in two states in Sudan" (2007). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI1445482.