Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Children With Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) at Ola During Children’s Hospital Freetown, Sierra Leone

International Journal of Medical Science
© 2019 by SSRG - IJMS Journal
Volume 6 Issue 7
Year of Publication : 2019
Authors : Lucy Eberechi Yaguo-ide, Nsirimobu Ichendu Paul
How to Cite?

Lucy Eberechi Yaguo-ide, Nsirimobu Ichendu Paul, "Human Immunodeficiency Virus in Children With Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) at Ola During Children’s Hospital Freetown, Sierra Leone," SSRG International Journal of Medical Science, vol. 6,  no. 7, pp. 28-34, 2019. Crossref,


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) occurring in Children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) constitute two key health problems in sub-Saharan Africa. Where these coexist, disease severity is worse and outcome is poorer. The study looked at the prevalence of HIV in children with SAM and its associated risk factors.
This was a descriptive cross-sectional study carried out in 2018 at the therapeutic feeding center (TFC) of the Ola During children’s hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. A non-probability sampling method (opportunistic sampling) was used to recruit children for the study. Children were admitted into TFC, if they met the WHO criteria for SAM. A written consent was obtained from the parents or caregivers of these children. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on the sociodemographic characteristics, clinical and laboratory data of the children and mother. Obtained data was analyzed using Epi-info version 7 and are presented in prose and tables. A test of statistical significance at 95% confidence interval was p<0.05.
Males represented 103(62.8%) while females constituted 60 (36.6%) of the study participants giving a male female ratio of 1.7:1. Forty eight (29.3%) of the mothers had no formal education while 76 (46.3%) had only primary education. Traders and students constituted 89 (54.3%) and 26 (15.9%) of the mothers occupation respectively. Thirty six of the children were found to be HIV positive giving a prevalence of 22%. Among the mothers of children who were HIV positive, 23 (63.9%) had primary education while 9 (25.0%) had no formal education, nearly half (44.4%) of these mothers were petty traders while a quarter (25.0%) were students and this was statistical significant p < 0.05. Among the SAM children who were HIV positive, 34 (94.4%) presented with fever while had diarrhoea, There was no statistically significant relationship between fever, diarrhoea and HIV status of the children (p=0.924).
The HIV prevalence of 22% found in this study is high. Also, HIV was commoner among the mothers who were less educated, who were students and petty traders. We recommend; education on HIV risk factors and preventive methods targeted at the less educated and populations of the lower socioeconomic class, screening of all children with SAM for HIV to ensure proper treatment which will improve their outcome, free or augmented female education up to at least secondary level and welfare economic support for economically disadvantaged women by the government.


Severe Acute Malnutrition, HIV, Children


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