Vaccination and nutritional status of children in Karawari, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea

Samiak, Louis, and Emeto, Theophilus I. (2017) Vaccination and nutritional status of children in Karawari, East Sepik Province, Papua New Guinea. PLoS ONE, 12 (11).

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Abstract

Delivery of health care services to rural and remote populations in Papua New Guinea (PNG) is problematic. This is mainly due to difficulties with transportation and communication. Hence, the children in this region of PNG are likely to be at risk of malnutrition compounded by inadequate vaccination that may predispose them to preventable diseases. This study was conducted to determine the vaccination and nutritional status of children less than 5 years old in the remote and rural Karawari area of PNG. 105 children were included in the study, of whom 55% were male and 45% female. The mean age of children included in the study was 32.6 months. Their age, height, and weight by gender was not significantly different. Overall, 85% of children had incomplete vaccination. However, children above the median age of 32 months (34%) were more likely to be fully vaccinated for their age, χ2 (1) = 23.294, p < 0.005. In addition, 25% of children were below the -1 SD (Z-scores) for weight-for—height, 33% below the -1 SD for weight-for-age, and 25.5% below the -1 SD for height-for-age compared to WHO standards.

A large proportion of children had poor nutrition status and lack protection from vaccine preventable diseases. This study recommends that the government should introduce a surveillance system for detecting issues of importance to the rural majority. We also recommend that the PNG government reopen the nearby health centre, and/ or establish new facilities within the region, with adequately trained and compensated staff.

Item ID: 51511
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: vaccination, nutritional status, Papua New Guinea, resource limited setting
Additional Information:

© 2017 Samiak, Emeto. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

ISSN: 1932-6203
Funders: James Cook University (JCU), University of Papua New Guinea (UPNG)
Projects and Grants: JCU/UPNG Twinning Project
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2017 23:21
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111706 Epidemiology @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111716 Preventive Medicine @ 30%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111715 Pacific Peoples Health @ 40%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920411 Nutrition @ 40%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9203 Indigenous Health > 920307 Pacific Peoples Health - Determinants Of Health @ 40%
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