Malnutrition remains a major public health and development concern around the world. It is a severe issue since it kills 3.5 million children under the age of five every year. Its magnitude remains high in Sub-Saharan African nations, such as Nigeria. The major goal of this study was to determine the causes of malnutrition in children under the age of five in the Ewoyi community in Esan North East Uromi Edo state. In July 2018, a hospital-based cross-sectional study was done to analyze the nutritional status of children aged 0 to 59 months in the institution in order to discover factors that contribute to malnutrition in the community.  Three hundred and twenty-eight (328) children and their carers took part in the survey. Data was collected using a pre-tested, structured, interviewer-administered questionnaire that included questions about mothers’ childcare habits, mother and child socio-demographic characteristics, and anthropometric measurement. The caregivers were sampled during a three-week period using a systematic sampling procedure. The nutritional parameters that were measured were height, weight, and the circumference of the mid upper arm. Microsoft Excel 2013 was used to enter the data. The z-scores were calculated using WHO Anthro Plus software version 3.2.2, and univariate and multiple logistic regression analysis were performed using STATA 15. Malnutrition was found to be prevalent in 78.05 percent of the population. Stunting and underweight were found in 55.7 percent and 31.7 percent of the population, respectively.

In addition, 3.85 percent suffered from severe acute malnutrition, while 15.85 percent suffered from moderate acute malnutrition. 6.71 percent of moms were under the age of 20 (teenagers), a substantial proportion of adolescent mothers, with 93.29 percent being adult mothers. The following factors were discovered to be linked to the development of malnutrition in children under the age of five in the research area. Maternal age, mother’s hygiene practices, sanitation variables, source of drinking water, and recent medical history of diarrhea or respiratory tract illness were among these factors. It was also shown that the age range 6-20 months had the highest proportion of malnourished children.

According to the multivariate analysis, older women were less likely to have a stunted kid than younger mothers in all age categories.




Children’s malnutrition is a major public health issue, particularly in many low- and middle-income nations. It has a negative impact on national productivity and creates economic and social issues for disadvantaged people. Poor nutrition is linked to delayed brain development, which has a negative impact on adult cognitive development, educational achievement, and economic productivity. (Coulter,2014).

Malnutrition, often known as undernutrition, is a broad word that embraces all types of nutritional diseases, including both overnutrition and undernutrition (WHO Nutrition 2016)

Malnutrition is defined by the World Health Organization as a cellular imbalance between the supply of nutrients and energy required by the body to maintain growth and particular functions.

Chronic malnutrition (stunting) and acute malnutrition are two types of malnutrition (underweight and wasting). It can be classified as either macronutrient malnutrition (Protein-Energy Malnutrition) or micronutrient malnutrition (e.g., iron deficiency). Marasmus and kwashiorkor are the two most common forms of acute malnutrition (WHO Nutrition, 2016).

The most generally recognized indicator of a child’s nutritional condition is their growth. The first 1000 days of a child’s life (0-23 months) are a key period in which rapid physical and mental development takes place (Walker et al). (2007)

According to the new SDGs, extreme poverty and hunger will be eradicated by decreasing the number of people living on less than $1.25 per day and the number of people who are hungry.

Even more significant are the disparities in achievement levels across the globe. For example, East Asia, particularly China, has seen the greatest reduction in the prevalence of malnutrition, while Latin America and the Caribbean have seen significant improvements. However, progress was slower in South Asia, where the prevalence of underweight remains high, and little or no change was found in Sub-Saharan Africa between 1990 and 2011.

Undernutrition during this vital period can have lasting effects on a child’s growth, increasing their risk of illness and mortality (Murray-Kolb., et al 2013). The anthropometry (height and weight) of a child, as well as the screening for biochemical and clinical indicators, are routinely used to assess undernutrition.


In 2015, 7.7% of children in the world were wasted, 24.5 percent were stunted, and 15% were underweight. Malnutrition was responsible for roughly 45 percent of mortality in children under the age of five in the same year. The African region and South-East Asia have the greatest rates of stunting, underweight, and wasted children under the age of five, with the former accounting for 39.4 percent of stunted, 24.9 percent of underweight, and 10.3 percent of wasted children under the age of five. (Sulaiman and colleagues, 2018).

According to the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) report, one-third of all undernourished children live in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with West Africa and East Africa having the highest prevalence.

On the other hand, malnutrition is not just a concern in Africa. However, it is steadily expanding in Ghana’s southern region. According to a UNICEF research conducted in Ghana in 2015, 23 percent of children under the age of five are stunted (7 percent severely), 6 percent are wasting (1 percent severely), and 13 percent are underweight (3 percent severely). These results reveal that starvation remains a major problem in the country and the Sub-Saharan African area (UNICEF 2015).

Malnutrition persists despite measures such as school feeding programs, enhanced primary health care, and others. Malnutrition has been connected to low socioeconomic level in Ethiopian research (Bantamen et al. 2014) Malnourished children frequently have a few things in common.


The study’s main goal is to determine the many factors that contribute to malnutrition in children aged 0 to 5 in the Ewoyi Community.

Objectives Specific;


1. To determine the socio-demographic characteristics that are linked to malnutrition in children under the age of five.


2. Determine the link between children’s traits and malnutrition in children under the age of five.


3. To evaluate if there is a link between children’s caring habits and malnutrition in children under the age of five.


4. To see if there’s a link between environmental factors and malnutrition in children under the age of five.


1. What impact does a mother’s sociodemographic and socioeconomic status have on malnutrition in children under the age of five?

2. What is the link between a child characteristic and malnutrition in children under the age of five?

3. Does a child care practice have an impact on malnutrition in children under the age of five?

4. What is the link between a child’s environment and malnutrition in children under the age of five?


It was critical to conduct this research because of the multiple benefits it has provided for improving children’s nutrition. The study provides information on the prevalence of child malnutrition in the Ewoyi community, as well as the risk factors linked with it. It has assisted in identifying factors that are barriers to good nutrition practice and translating each guideline into specific recommendations that health care providers, mothers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and government agencies such as the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Nigeria Health Service (NHS) require in order to develop the right measures for improving and eradicating malnutrition among children.


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