Demographic, socioeconomic, and health characteristics of the MAL-ED network study site in rural Pakistan

Ali Turab, Sajid B. Soofi, Imran Ahmed, Zaid Bhatti, Anita K.M. Zaidi, Zulfiqar Ahmad Bhutta

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22 Citations (Scopus)


The Pakistan study site of the Etiology, Risk Factors and Interactions of Enteric Infections and Malnutrition and the Consequences for Child Health and Development (MAL-ED) cohort study is located in Molhan union council of Naushahro Feroze district in the Sindh province. The study site is located in a rural district, where the majority of the population has an agrarian livelihood. Most families are nuclear families and the average household has 7 persons. More than half the women in the region have no formal education, and the median parity is 6. Only 48%-61% of the households across the district, province, and country have access to an improved toilet facility. Similar to the provincial and national estimates, the district has a low rate of exclusive breastfeeding at 6 months, and the prevalence of prelacteal feeding is high. There is also a high proportion of malnourished children. In addition, the acute respiratory infection and diarrheal illness burden and the mortality rates in children <5 years old in the district are high but comparable with the provincial and national estimates. Overall, the district is representative of rural populations at the regional and national level in terms of demographics, socioeconomic status, and general health and mortality indicators.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S304-S309
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • MAL-ED
  • Pakistan
  • birth cohort
  • child heath
  • demographics


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