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Maheen Badrashi
Najib ul Haq
Farhat R Malik
Sehar Afridi


Iron deficiency anaemia, Malnutrition, Orphanage, Underweight


Introduction: Underprivileged children in orphanages are at a high risk of undernutrition owing to living conditions and resource unavailability. This study aimed to assess the nutritional status along with nutritional deficiencies among the children residing in the MERCY-PAK EDUCATIONAL ORPHANAGE COMPLEX.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional analytical study involving primary and secondary school children aged 5 to 17 years with data collected from 409 children. The socio-demographic background was obtained from parents. Height and weight for age were measured for malnutrition with associated deficiencies like paleness of skin and angular stomatitis. Descriptive statistics were carried in SPSS Version 16.

Results: A total of 409 children participated in the study. Analysis showed 62 % of students residing under the normal range, followed by 25.4 % and 10.5 % as underweight and overweight respectively. Evaluation of associated abnormalities demonstrated that 24.4 % showed skin paleness followed by angular stomatitis (5.4 %) and pale (1%) which makes a total of 22 and only 1 student respectively.

Conclusion: Most of the students had normal weight and height; however, acute malnutrition (wasting) was more prominent than chronic malnutrition (stunting). The signs of paleness and angular stomatitis were observed among the students, which may have been due to worm infestation or iron and vitamin deficiency. Anaemia was more common in junior classes as compared to senior classes. All these findings could be attributed to the consumed salads, milk, and milk products occasionally, which resulted in anaemia and stunting.

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