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Old 21-09-2004, 11:29 AM
***aCe*** ***aCe*** is offline
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Student awarded for best paper

Fourth year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery student, Pilly Mapira took out the Executive Dean’s Awards for the best student paper presented in the 40th Medical Symposium in Port Moresby last week.

Ms Mapira was one of only two students from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to present a research paper.

She becomes the third recipient of the inaugural awards since its introduction in 2002 Medical Symposium in Alotau at which Damian Hasola took out the prize followed by Imelda Asaigo in Mt Hagen last year.

Ms Mapira paper titled “Using Anthropometric Data to Assess the Nutritional Status of Children (6 – 12 years) in Hela, Southern Highlands province,” of the Anthropometric study of the Hela determines the rate of growth and development of children.

This study was prompted by unavailability of nutrition education and nutrition data that is necessary to assist in implementation of national nutrition policies in a target community of the country.

Ms Mapira reported that Anthropometric data on the nutritional status of children above five years of age in PNG are very scanty.
Similarly, there is no adequate Anthropometric data for school children in this age group in Southern Highland province although there have been some studies in the past of the stunt growth of children in two-thirds of the Highlands districts of PNG.

The stunted growth of children in Tari was related to low birth weight, malnutrition and disease episodes.

In Ms Mapira’s study, Anthropometric measurements of children (6 – 12 years old) in Hella Region (Tari and Koroba districts) were obtained in an attempt to assess their nutritional status. The major criteria for selecting this age group in this region is based on the recent research report of mild-to-moderate iodine deficiency among the 6 – 12 years old school children in Hela region, that, she carried out earlier.

The aim of the study was to assess the nutritional status of children using the nutritional indicators in the CDC percentile growth charts.
The study population consisted of 346 children aged 6 – 12 years (181 male and 165 female) selected randomly from ten of the more than 50 schools in Hela Region.

All the data was recorded using the appropriate CDC growth chart for each of the child based on their age and sex groups.
The nutritional status of both male and female children were analysed according to age groups.

The paper reported that 10.5% of the male children in the 6-year age group are underweight, another 10.5% are at risk of overweight and 21.1% are overweight.

Additionally, about 11.1% of male children in the 8-year old group are underweight and 22.2% are at risk of overweight. Likewise, 12.5% of females in the 6-year age group are underweight and another 12.5% are at risk of overweight, while in the 7-year age group, 5.3 % are underweight and 21.1% are at risk of overweight.

In terms of stature, the study found that 52.63% of male children in the 6-year age group, 79.17% (7-year age group), 72.22% (8-year age group) and over 85% (in the other age groups) are short for their age.
Similarly, 50.0% of female children in the 6-year age group, 68.42% (7-year age group), 67.74% (in the 8-year age group) and over 75.0% in the other age groups have short stature.

This implies that most of the children have stunted growth. They are short for their age. The stunted growth is higher among the male children compared to the female children, although the difference is not statistically significant. Stunting seems to increase with age in both male and female children.

The mean heights of male children are not significantly different from that of the female children in the same age group. But girls are slightly taller than the boys in same age groups. The median heights are also similar for both male and female children in same age groups.

Over 60% of the children have stunted growth, which indicates that they are short for their age. The stunted growth is higher among the male children compared to the female children, although the difference is not statistically significant. The same trend is seen when the male and female children are separated into various age groups

The girls are relatively heavier than the boys within the same age group. Thus, girls between 6 – 12 years in Hela region are slightly taller and heavier than the boys in the same age group.

The limits of this study include the small number of children in the various age groups and the lack of standard percentile growth curves for adolescence children in SHP.

Hence, there is an urgent need to develop appropriate percentile growth curves for adolescence children in the various regions in PNG.

ENDS


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Old 21-09-2004, 04:07 PM
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It's very encouraging to read archievements from young Papua New Guineans like Ms Maipara....especially PNGean women. !!!

Well done
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