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A Multilevel Analysis of Factors Associated with Malnutrition among Tribal Children in India: Evidence from National Family Health Survey 2015-16

Abstract

Health and the related problems are very much interlinked with the socio-economic conditions of the community, particularly the tribes who are living in the remote and inaccessible areas where health care and development services of the government are not available. This study aims to examine child malnutrition among tribal children in India. The study uses data from the fourth round of National Family Health Survey. Bivariate and multilevel analyses have been used to fulfil the objectives of the study. Results reveal that overall prevalence of stunting, wasting and underweight among tribal children under three years of age was 41%, 30% and 43% respectively. Child age, sex, size at birth, age of the women at first birth and their education, duration of breastfeeding, religion, and wealth index are significantly associated with malnutrition among tribal children. The chances of stunting are more among tribal families with two or more children. On the other hand, the likelihood of underweight is more likely among tribal children who are suffering from diarrhoea and fever. Community variables like the place of residence, community education, and community wealth have a significant positive effect on stunting, wasting, and underweight, respectively. Therefore, the study recommended implementation of policies specific to the tribal population through improving individual as well as community-level education to ensure the reduction in malnourishment among tribal children in India. Moreover services provided by the government should be made accessible to this vulnerable group.

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No ethical approval needed for this data.

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Acknowledgements

Authors would like to acknowledge Dr. Preeti Dhillon, Mr. Ajeet Kumar Singh, Dr. Rahul Bawankule, and Dr. S. Gowtham for their help in the finalization of the manuscript. The authors also sincerely acknowledge the reviewers whose comment helped to improve the paper.

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This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Kumar, P., Sonekar, H., Banerjee, A. et al. A Multilevel Analysis of Factors Associated with Malnutrition among Tribal Children in India: Evidence from National Family Health Survey 2015-16. Child Ind Res 14, 1547–1569 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12187-021-09812-5

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Keywords

  • Malnutrition
  • Tribes
  • Breast-feeding
  • Community income
  • Multilevel analysis