Morbidity profile of orphan children in Southern India


  • Shraddha Toutem Department of Community Medicine, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, Medchal Mandal, Telangana, India
  • Vanya Singh Department of Community Medicine, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, Medchal Mandal, Telangana, India
  • Enakshi Ganguly Department of Community Medicine, Mediciti Institute of Medical Sciences, Medchal Mandal, Telangana, India



Children, India, Morbidity, Orphan, Treatment seeking


Background: Orphan children globally and in India are increasing. Magnitude of their health problems is unknown. The present study was carried out to assess the morbidity pattern of orphan children aged 10-16 years, assess their knowledge about signs and symptoms of common childhood morbidities and treatment-seeking practices.

Methods: One hundred institutionalized orphan children aged 10-16 years were studied for 6 months. Data was collected by trained investigators regarding sociodemographic background, awareness about common morbidities and treatment seeking practices. Thorough clinical examination and anthropometric measurements were done. Distribution of morbidities was shown.

Results: 80% of the boys and 68% of the girls had low BMI. 78% suffered from multiple morbidities of which 76% had infections of skin and appendages while 74% had ear problems. 26% had diarrhea and 21% had B-complex deficiency. The mean duration of all diseases was 7±1.1 days. Awareness about diseases and their complications was low; and self-care was highly prevalent for most health problems.

Conclusions: Orphan children in South India suffer from many morbidities about which their awareness and treatment seeking is low.


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