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Pakistan Journal of Nutrition
Year: 2015  |  Volume: 14  |  Issue: 3  |  Page No.: 155 - 163

Effects of Malnutrition on Women Reproductive Health in Punjab

Muhammad Siddique, Yasir Nawaz, Farah Riaz, Muhammad Ali Tarar, Zarqa Azhar, Arshad Hussain Hashmi and Abdul Waheed    

Abstract: In the maternal and child health nutrition plays a vital role. It has been noted that the poor maternal nutrition status is directly responsible for the adverse birth out come. The aim of the present study is to find out the effects of malnutrition on women reproductive health in Punjab. Multistage sampling techniques were used for data collection. At the first stage two Districts i.e. Faisalabad and Multan of Punjab province were selected randomly. At the second stage four tehsils, two from each district (Tehsil Faisalabad and Tehsil Jaranwala from District Faisalabad and Tehsil Multan and Tehsil Shujabad from District Multan) were selected randomly from the selected districts, than 12 localities, three from each tehsil (Chak No. 59/JB, 30/JB and 31/JB from Tehsil Faisalabad, Chak No. 60/GB, 55/GB and 54/GB from Tehsil Jaranwala and Khokhran, Mithal Shah and Gondian from Tehsil Shujabad and Ghalu, Sanhbai and Hasnabad from Tehsil Multan) were selected randomly. A sample of 300 respondents (25 from each locality) selected purposively. It was found that majority of the respondents were eating vegetables and less than a half of them were drinking milk on daily basis. A very few of the respondents were drinking juices and eating meat on daily basis. A majority of the sampled women were taking three meals in a day and about one-fourth of the respondents were aware about balance diet. It is clear from the findings that the respondents had many health problems i.e., headache (61.7%), high blood pressure (60.3%), back pain (54.7%), swelling on different body parts (41.3%), irregular menses (33.0%), hand, facial swelling (32.7%), urinary complications (28.3%), cramps and abdominal pain (26.7%), vaginal bleeding (25.0%) and some of them had anemia and heavy bleeding. Less than a half of the respondents (45.0%) used any contraceptive method and one-fourth of them were observed its side effects. According to the research findings malnutrition had many bad impact on women and child health i.e., low weight baby, poor feeding practices, adverse pregnancy outcomes, low energy and nutrient dense foods, anemia, iron deficiency and poor physical activities. Main cause of malnutrition among the women were poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, socio-economic and environmental factors and poor water/sanitation and health services. Bi-variate analysis shows that education, income, age at marriage, eating pattern, awareness about balance diet, food security, household food expenditure were positively associated with reproductive health status and age and total no. of pregnancies were negatively associated with reproductive health status. There is a dire need to improve the health facilities available at government Health Centers especially at BHUs to address the reproductive health problems that will surely improve women’s health status.

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