Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/13/2004
Publication Date: 11/18/2004
Citation: Maziya-Dixon, B., Sanusi, R.A., Akinyele, I.O., Oguntona, E.B., Harris, E.W. 2004. Iron status of children under 5 in Nigeria: Results of the Nigeria food consumption and nutrition survey. In: Proceedings of Iron Deficiency in Early Life and Challenges and Progress, November 18, 2004, Lima, Peru. Abstract Th 98, p. 43.
Technical Abstract: Iron deficiency is a serious and widespread public health problem in developing countries. To reduce the prevalence of iron deficiency in Nigeria, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and various universities and institutions in the country conducted a baseline nationwide food consumption and nutrition survey in 2001 to inform strategies to address iron deficiency in Nigeria. One of the objectives of the survey was to assess the iron status of children under-5 years of age. A total of 12 States, 72 Local Government Areas, 216 Enumeration Areas, and 6480 households with a mother and child pair were sampled. Blood samples were collected for the determination of serum ferritin. At the national level, approximately 36.3% of children under-5 was at different stages of iron deficiency, with 13.4% already having depleted iron stores (serum ferritin value of less than 20 ng/ml) and 22.3% having serum ferritin concentrations less than 10 ng/ml, suggestive of iron deficiency. The proportion of children with varying degrees of iron deficiency was 47.3% for the dry savanna, 30.4% for the moist savanna, and 33.4% for the humid forest. Iron deficiency was highest in the dry savanna (32.2%), followed by the moist savanna (18.5%) and humid forest (18.7%). The same trend was observed for children with depleted iron stores (< 20 ng/ml); there were more in the dry savanna (15.1%) than in the moist savanna (11.8%) and humid forest (14.7%). The proportion of children with varying degrees of iron deficiency was 34.1% for the rural, 36.2% for the medium, and 40.5% for the urban areas. Iron deficiency (serum ferritin concentration < 10 ng/ml) was highest in the urban area, (27.8%) followed by the medium (23.0%) and rural (18.7%) areas. In conclusion, iron deficiency is a public health problem in Nigeria. While the proportion of children with low serum ferritin levels varies agro-ecologically and across sectors, it is a significant public health problem in all agro-ecological zones and sectors.