Fune SMART survey was conducted in June 2021 which was a baseline assessment, to determine the nutrition situation in the Local Government Area (LGA) as well as prevalence of other multi-sector indicators to support the Health Resilience of North East (HeRoN) project activities. The assessment also served as a guide for Yobe State Primary Health Care Management Board (SPHCMB), Nutrition Sector and other actors in the LGA on improving the level of programing. The general objective of this survey was to assess the nutritional status of children aged (6-59 months), crude and under-five mortality rates in Fune LGA.
The survey managed to collect information from 42 clusters attaining a total of 480 households and 645 children measured with the overall quality being good at 12% achieved.
The survey findings indicated a global acute malnutrition (GAM) of 14.7 % (12.3 - 17.5 95% C.I.) classified as serious as per WHO classification with a Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) was 2.6 % (1.7 - 3.9 95% C.I.).
The high prevalence of acute malnutrition could be attributed to poor household food intake.The survey findings revealed that 47.6% of households consumed less diversified food (<6) food groups, food consumption scores showed that 33.9% of households consumed from poor food consumption score (FCS<21), while 20.8% of households consumed from borderline food consumption scores (21.5 - 35). The poor dietary diversity and food quality could be attributed to households engagement of unsustainable income sources such as casual labour (15.7%), households with no income (22.7%), sale of crops was 19.9% which limits household access to food. The survey findings further indicated that 30.5% of households employed coping mechanism.
The other possible cause of high prevalence of acute malnutrition could be high child morbidity. The survey findings indicated that 26.8% (23.5 – 30.5, 95% CI) of children were ill with one or more illnesses two week prior to data collection out of which 73.3% (65.9 – 79.7, 95% CI) of children had fever., 18.6% (13.1 – 25.2, 95% CI) had Acute respiratory infection (ARI), while 25.6% (19.2 – 32.8, 95% CI) had watery diarrhoea.
The high prevalence of diarrhea among children could be attributed to poor household hygiene practices with low handwashing practices with 36.7% washing their hands in 3 to 4 instances and only 16.7% of caregivers washing their hands in all the 5 instances. Nearly all (98.1% (96.3 -99.1, 95% CI)) of the households did not do anything to improve quality of drinking water hence exposing them to diseases including the three childhood diseases listed above. The finding also show a high open defecation rate with 42.7% (38.2 - 47.3, 95% CI) of households using bushes to relieve themselves, which could eventually contaminate water source and eventually lead to waterborne diseases that compromise on the nutrition status.
Low level of child immunization and vitamin A supplementation which could lower child immunity and ability to fight pathogens leading to frequent child sickness. The survey findings indicated a very low low vitamin A supplementation for children 6-59 months at 28.6%(25.1 – 32.3, 95% CI), relatively for for low measles immunization coverage for children 9-59 months at 68.8 (64.9 – 72.5, 95% CI), low deworming with only 28.6%(24.8 -32.5,95% CI) of children aged 12 -59 months having been dewormed.
The survey findings unveiled a very high prevalence of chronic malnutrition with stunting rate of 55.5 % (49.1 - 61.7 95% C.I). The high stunting can be attributed to the poor child feeding practices notably low exclusive breastfeeding at 21.4% (12.5 -32.8, 95% CI), low initiation of breastfeeding at 49.3% (43.2 -55.4.95% CI). The survey also unveiled poor minimum dietary diversity (MDD) at 14.5% (10.2 – 19.6, 95% CI), poor Minimum Acceptable Diet (MAD) at 8.5 % (5.3 – 12.8, 95% CI).