Health and Nutritional Status of Young Foster Children Attending a Diarrhea Treatment Hospital in Bangladesh


There is scarcity of evidence-based information about socio-demographic as well as ailment factors associated with foster children in Bangladesh. Thus the aim of the present study was to determine the socio-economic, health and nutritional status of young foster children in urban Dhaka. A total of 208 (1%; n = 208/28,948) under-5 foster children were enrolled in the Diarrheal Disease Surveillance System of icddr,b between 1993-2012. Randomly selected under-5 children (n = 624) with a ratio of 1:3 were extracted and constituted as comparison group. Forty-three percent (n = 90) foster children were male. Lack of formal schooling of mother was higher among foster children compared to non-foster children (52% vs. 35%; p < 0.001). Higher proportion of foster children suffered from some or severe dehy-dration (60% vs. 47%; p = 0.001) and often received intravenous saline (12% vs. 5%; p = 0.002) in comparison to non-foster children. Significantly lower proportion of foster children had rotavirus diarrhea (26% vs. 43%; p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, foster children were 2 times (95% CI: 1.31-4.32) more likely to be stunted and 194 times (95% CI: 82.25-457.76) more likely to be non-breastfed. Infants aged 6-11 months were 8 times (95% CI: 3.70-15.50) more likely to be foster compared to older children and probability of fostering was 7 times (95% CI: 3.96-13.33) higher among mothers with a median age of 25 years. The findings of our study clearly demonstrate the existing health and nutritional problems of foster children. Therefore, appropriate health and nutrition interventions are critical for foster children in Bangladesh.

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D. Akhter, S. Das, M. Chisti, G. Imran, F. Farzana, S. Ahmed, F. Ferdous, M. Malek and A. Faruque, "Health and Nutritional Status of Young Foster Children Attending a Diarrhea Treatment Hospital in Bangladesh," Food and Nutrition Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 785-790. doi: 10.4236/fns.2013.48102.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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