Objective: To determine the association of literacy of mothers with malnutrition among children under three years of age in rural area of district Malir, Karachi. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on four hundred children under three years of age, residing in the rural area of district Malir, Karachi. The selection of the children was irrespective of gender, ethnicity and religion. Results: Three hundred nineteen mothers (79.75%) were illiterate and 81 (20.25%) were literate. In the latter group, three mothers could read or write only, 38 had primary, 10 middle, 15 matric, 12 intermediate and 3 mothers had education up to graduate level. Maximum malnutrition regarding stunting (40.75%) was seen in children who's mothers were illiterate and maximum underweight (57.89%) was seen in children who's mothers had education up to primary level and maximum wasting (33.33%) was seen in children who's mothers (only 3 mothers out of 400) were graduates. There was a significant difference regarding underweight between the children who's mothers were illiterate or had education up to primary level in comparison to the children who's mothers had education to more than primary level (P<0.016), but in significant difference regarding stunting and wasting was found. Overall a total of 217 (54.25%) children were underweight, 156 (39%) were stunted and 86 (21.5%), had wasting. Conclusion: Mother's literacy status has a definite association with the malnutrition of the children <3 years of age regarding underweight. In order to combat this an uplift of mother's literacy status is badly needed especially in the rural areas.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2005|