What Explains Child Malnutrition of Indigenous People of Northeast India?

Citation: Dinachandra Singh K, Alagarajan M, Ladusingh L (2015) What Explains Child Malnutrition of Indigenous People of Northeast India? PLoS ONE 10(6): e0130567. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130567

Published: June 29, 2015

India-locator-map-NE-wikiHousehold risk factors affecting child health, particularly malnutrition, are mainly basic amenities like drinking water, toilet facility, housing and fuel used for cooking. This paper considered the collective impact of basic amenities measured by an index specially constructed as the contextual factor of child malnutrition. The contextual factor operates at both the macro and micro levels namely the state level and the household level. The importance of local contextual factors is especially important when studying the nutritional status of children of indigenous people living in remote and inaccessible regions. This study has shown the contextual factors as potential factors of malnutrition among children in northeast India, which is home to the largest number of tribes in the country. In terms of macro level contextual factor it has been found that 8.9 per cent, 3.7 per cent and 3.6 per cent of children in high, medium and low risk households respectively, are severely wasted. Lower micro level household health risks, literate household heads, and scheduled tribe households have a negating effect on child malnutrition. Children who received colostrum feeding at the time of birth and those who were vaccinated against measles are also less subject to wasting compared to other children, and these differences are statistically significant.


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