4 Factors That Contribute To Kwashiorkor are discussed in this article. We hope you find it informative and helpful for your research.
Read Also: Causes and Symptoms of Kwashiorkor
Kwashiorkor is a disease of infants that affects children from 6 months to 5 years old. It is thought that the name came from Ghana which means ‘the displaced child’.
Several cases of kwashiorkor have been seen in the Eastern Mediterranean, India, Ceylon, the Caribbean, and Africa. This shows the serious state of this disease.
One may ask, when does Kwashiorkor often? It occurs when the child is suddenly deprived of breast milk. It could be due to many factors and one of such is that the mother could be pregnant with another child.
Read Also: Prevention of Kwashiorkor
Why is Protein Required?
Protein is needed for blood, muscle fluid, and hair. Kwashiorkor can be avoided with foods that are rich in protein. Children suffering from kwashiorkor will show the effects of the shortage of protein in a variety of symptoms.
What are the factors that contribute to Kwashiorkor?
From this, it can conclude that the factors which contribute to the incidence of kwashiorkor are:
1. The high protein requirements during infancy
Protein is contained in the breast and children should not be deprived of it especially in their first weeks to nine months.
Read Also: Disorders Due To Malnutrition
2. The shortage in many areas of the world of protein foods suitable for weaning
The weaning of babies at 6 to 9 months may be advisable and possible when a suitable clean supply of cow’s milk is available.
It can be disastrous when fresh, clean cow’s milk is not available. A healthy well-nourished mother can feed her child up to two years provided breast milk is supplemented with an adequate mixed diet.
3. Certain social customs and lack of knowledge of the cause of kwashiorkor and too little knowledge about the nutritious value of foods.
4. Infections to which children of this age are exposed. These could be gastrointestinal disturbances causing diarrhea and interference with absorption, malaria or worms, or whooping cough, measles, and tuberculosis.
Read Also: Diseases Caused By Deficiencies In The Diet
Severe cases of kwashiorkor are hospitalized and the life of the child will depend on the treatment being given immediately.
Sometimes children are taken to the hospital too late and the child dies before the treatment can show any results. For instance, if there are signs of kwashiorkor, one of such signs is the failure of growth.
Others include weight and height which are low for the age. If a child has any of these signs and is taken to the hospital on time, they can be a remarkable improvement in them between three weeks to four weeks.
This improvement has to be maintained by a suitable diet after they reach home. If the child goes back to a large carbohydrate diet, he or she becomes ill again very quickly. A healthy child, even if small when born, should show a steady increase in height and weight.
Read Also: Dietary Needs Of Infants
Kwashiorkor is a source of malnutrition found in children caused by dietary insufficiency of protein in combination with a high carbohydrates diet. The very rapid recovery of children fed on these foods shows that the main cause of the illness is nutritional.