keywords: Dietary diversity, household, maternal, child, nutritional status
This study examined maternal and child dietary diversity within farming households in north western Nigeria; specifically in Sokoto and Kebbi States. Primary data on personal and socio demographic characteristics of subjects were collected in 1,500 households with the aid of a well pre-tested and structured questionnaire. Methods of analysis used were descriptive statistics and dietary diversity score. Maternal and child dietary diversity scores (DDS) were created based on mother’s recall of her own consumption of 9 food groups and her child’s consumption of 7 food groups, during the 24 h prior to the home survey. Specifically, children within the age range of 6- 23 months and women within the range of 15 – 49 years were considered based on the FAO recommendation. Results revealed that 46.52% of children received minimum dietary component. The mean household dietary diversity score (HDDS) was 5.42 while that of the women’s dietary diversity score (WDDS) was 4.29. Overall, 60.4% of the households had HDDS ≤ 5 while 39.6% had HDDS >5. The values for WDDS were 65.8% (≤ 4) and 34.2% (> 4). The proportion of HDDS < 5 and WDDS < 4 for Kebbi State was greater at 69.02 and 75.74%, respectively. The study concludes that majority of the children and the women had low dietary diversity. The proportion of households and women with low dietary diversity was greater in Kebbi State than what was obtained in Sokoto State. The study therefore recommends that vigorous intervention through extension agents should be made to women in the study area and especially in Kebbi State to create awareness about consumption of food in the right quantity and quality to ensure maternal and child health in the farming households.
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