Prevalence of malnutrition, acute respiratory infections and diarrhoea in children aged 1-5 years in urban slums of Puducherry, South India

Ravi Prakash Upadhyay, Palanivel Chinnakali, Meenakshi Bhilwar, Balaji Krishnan, Vaman Kulkarni, Arti Gupta, S. A. Rizwan


Background: Aim of current study was to document the prevalence of malnutrition, burden of acute respiratory and diarrhoeal diseases in children aged 1-5 years in urban slums of South India.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Villianur municipal area of Puducherry district, South India. A semi-structured pretested interview schedule was used to collect information on demographic details of the family, episodes of ARI and diarrhoea and health seeking behaviour. Anthropometric measurements were also done.

Results: A total of 242 children were studied. The prevalence of stunting and wasting was 25.2% and 12.2 % respectively. Nearly 60% reportedly had at least one episode of ARI (144/242) and one-fourth had at least one episode of diarrhoea (60/242; 24.8%) in the last three months prior to the interview. There were no sex based differences in the treatment seeking practices.

Conclusions: Considerable burden of malnutrition, ARI and diarrhoea exists in children of this urban slum. Health seeking behaviour was appropriate. 


Under-five, Urban slum, Malnutrition, Acute respiratory infection, Diarrhoea, South India

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