Muna Ali Abdalla, Abdelgader H. Khatab, Abdullahi H. El Tinay:
Evaluation of the Nutritional Status of Children under Age of Five in Relation to their Feeding Patterns: Case Study-El Fau Rural Area, Sudan


1Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, Germany
2University of Khartoum, Faculty of Agriculture, Department of Food Science and Technology, Sudan

In the El Fau rural area of Gadarif state, the villages 11, 14 & 15 were selected due to their ideal characteristics for investigation [e.g., illiteracy, rampant poverty, lack of basic health services, unsafe drinking water, high prevalence of malaria, bilharziasis and diseases related to poor sanitation & hygiene].

Mothers were asked regarding breastfeeding, weaning practices, complementary feeding & feeding patterns after weaning. Children were examined to indicate the clinical signs of protein energy malnutrition, nutritional anaemia, vitamin A deficiency and iodine deficiency disorders (IDD).

The results indicated that the high illiteracy among mothers (76.7%) affected the children feeding patterns, where 100% of the infants were fed by KISRA blended with water in the early month of breastfeeding ( 4 month). Their complementary foods were ACEDA, WEIKA & ROUB beside milk. The lack nutritional education, where the importance of the food diversification (ACEDA, WEIKA, fresh or cooked ROUB & milk) coupled with insufficient daily food intake may represent stumbling block for the well-being of the children. Added to that the wrong feeding habits of the family during which the children (50%) share adults the same family's pot. This situation leads to the prevalence of wasting where 6% of the children are moderately malnourished and 3.3% are severely malnourished. In addition to that, high prevalence of nutritional anaemia was shown, where 65.3% of the children with haemoglobin concentration of 50% or below. None of the children were suffering from vitamin A deficiency because of the continuous national Expanded Programme Immunisation (EPI), which included distribution of vitamin A capsules. None of the children were found suffering from Goiter, which indicates that IDD in this area was very seldom.

Keywords: Children under 5, feeding patterns, malnutrition, nutritional anaemia, rural area


Contact Address: Muna Ali Abdalla, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute of Organic and Biomolecular ChemistryTammanstr. 2, 37077 Göttingen, Germany, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, November 2007