Poorer health and nutritional outcomes in orphans and vulnerable young children not explained by greater exposure to extreme poverty in Zimbabwe


Watts, H; Gregson, S; Saito, S; Lopman, B; Beasley, M; Monasch, R; (2007) Poorer health and nutritional outcomes in orphans and vulnerable young children not explained by greater exposure to extreme poverty in Zimbabwe. Tropical medicine & international health, 12 (5). pp. 584-93. ISSN 1360-2276 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2007.01832.x

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To describe patterns of association between different groups of young orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and their nutritional and health outcomes; and to develop a theoretical framework to analyse the determinants of child malnutrition and ill-health, and identify the different mechanisms which contribute to these outcomes in such children. METHODS: We developed and tested a theoretical framework to explain why orphans and vulnerable children experience more ill-health and malnutrition based on statistical analysis of data on 31 672 children aged 0-17 years (6753 aged under 5 years) selected from the Zimbabwe OVC Baseline Survey 2004. RESULTS: 28% of children aged 0-4 years at last birthday were either orphans or vulnerable children. They were more likely than non-vulnerable children to have suffered recently from diarrhoeal illness (age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio, AOR, 1.27; 95% CI 1.09-1.48) and acute respiratory infection (1.27; 1.01-1.59) and to be stunted (1.24; 1.09-1.41) and underweight (1.18; 1.02-1.36). After further adjustment for exposure to extreme poverty, OVC remained at greater risk of diarrhoeal disease (AOR 1.25; 1.07-1.46) and chronic malnutrition (1.21; 1.07-1.38). In 0-17-year-olds, OVC with acute respiratory infection were more likely not to have received any treatment even after adjusting for poverty (AOR 1.29; 95% CI 1.16-1.43). CONCLUSION: Differences in exposure to extreme poverty among young children by OVC status were relatively small and did not explain the greater malnutrition and ill-health seen in OVC.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Acute Disease, Adolescent, Age Distribution, Child, Child Nutrition Disorders/*epidemiology, Child, Preschool, Chronic Disease, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diarrhea/epidemiology, Female, *Foster Home Care, Growth Disorders/epidemiology, *Health Status, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, *Poverty, Prevalence, Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology, Risk Factors, Thinness/epidemiology, *Vulnerable Populations, Zimbabwe/epidemiology, Acute Disease, Adolescent, Age Distribution, Child, Child Nutrition Disorders, epidemiology, Child, Preschool, Chronic Disease, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diarrhea, epidemiology, Female, Foster Home Care, Growth Disorders, epidemiology, Health Status, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Poverty, Prevalence, Respiratory Tract Infections, epidemiology, Risk Factors, Thinness, epidemiology, Vulnerable Populations, Zimbabwe, epidemiology
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 17445126
Web of Science ID: 245745900003
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/9808

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