Yasinta Betan, Monthana Hemcahayat, Kanokwan Wetasin


Introduction: Malnutrition is still a public health issue in Indonesia. In order to achieve Millennium Development Goals’ (MDGs) target, Indonesian government has improved the strategies to reduce the prevalence of malnutrition in children under five years old to be 15.5% in 2015. However, the prevalence of malnutrition including underweight and stunting increased from 17.9% and 35.6% in 2010 to 19.6% and 37.2% in 2013. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between infection diseases and malnutrition among children 2-5 years old. Method: A cross sectional design was used in this study. Population of the study was children 2-5 years old in Wulanggitang subdistrict, East Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. A total sample of this study was 250 children. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants. Data were collected by face-to-face interview with a questionnaire and anthropometric measurements of weight and height. Achi-square test with α≤ 0.05 was used to analyze the data. Results: This study revealed that out of 250 participants, 40.4% had malnutrition and 58.8% had diseases including diarrhea and/or acute respiratory infection in the past six months. The study also revealed that occurrence of infection diseases (χ² = 48.56, p <0.001) and frequency of infection diseases (χ² = 37.52, p < 0.001) were significantly related with malnutrition among children 2-5 years old. Discussion: Children who were suffered from infection diseases (diarrhea and/or ARI) were more likely to be malnutrition compared to children who were not suffered from infection diseases in the past six months. The possible explanation of this finding was children who suffered from diarrhea and/or acute respiratory infection may have loss of appetite and malabsorption of nutrients. Further, energy that should be used for child’s growth and development is obstructed. Conclusion:Infection diseases were related with malnutrition among children 2-5 years old.

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