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Original Articles

A comparison of nutritional status of primary school children in two settlements in the Polonnaruwa District

Authors:

R. R. M. L. R. Siyambalagoda ,

Anti-Malaria Campaign Headquarters, LK
About R. R. M. L. R.
Former Deputy Provincial Director of Health Services, North Central Province
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P. A. J. Perera,

University of Peradeniya, LK
About P. A. J.
Department o f Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine
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A. R. Wickremasinghe,

University of Sri Jayewardenepura, LK
About A. R.
Department of Community Medicine & Family Medicine, Faculty of Medical Sciences
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N. P. Sumanaweera

Department of Health, LK
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Abstract

This study was conducted to assess and compare the nutritional status of primary school children of a new (Mahaweli System "B") and an old settlement (Parakrama Samudraya) area in the Polonnaruwa district. A total of 941 and 719 primary school children from the new and old settlements, respectively, were studied. Heights and weights of primary school children were measured using standard techniques. Finger prick blood samples were obtained to measure haemoglobin concentrations using "ERMA AE-11- N" photoelectric colorimeter. Weight-for-age, heightfor- age and weight-for-height z-scores were calculated using EPIINFO. The nutritional status of the primary school children of the new settlement were poorer than those in the old settlement in all three anthropometric indicators, namely stunting, wasting and underweight. The prevalence of stunting among children from the new settlement (36.2% and 31.2% in males and females respectively) was significantly higher than those of children in the old settlement (29.0% and 28.6% in males and females respectively). The prevalences of wasting among children from the new settlement (51.8% and 48.2% in males and females respectively) were significantly higher than that of children in the old settlement (27.3% and 23.2% in males and females respectively). The prevalence of underweight was 65.4% and 62.4% in the new settlement and 47.2% and 38.3% in the old settlement, in male and female children, respectively. More than 85% of the children were anaemic with the prevalence being significantly higher among children from the new settlement (91.5%) as compared to those from the old settlement (72.3%).
How to Cite: Siyambalagoda, R.R.M.L.R. et al., (2003). A comparison of nutritional status of primary school children in two settlements in the Polonnaruwa District. Ceylon Journal of Medical Science. 46(1), pp.21–33. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjms.v46i1.4837
Published on 23 Jun 2003.
Peer Reviewed

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