Background: The first five years of life are when the foundations are laid not only for the physical growth but also the cognitive, social and emotional development of a child.
Aim& Objectives: The main objectives of this study are to assess the health and nutrition status and describe the morbidity patterns of under five children in a low income urban community of Urban city in Telangana.
Methdology: Efforts are also made to describe the socio-demographic profiles of the families, assess their awareness of child care practices and the utilisation of health care services for the under five child. The study was conducted in the field practice area of the Urban Health Center (UHC) at Hyderabad by selecting 6 Anganwadi service areas where a house to house survey was done. A total of 750 under five children present in 600 families were included. After obtaining consent of the mother, data were collected through a pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire.
Results: This study revealed the association of socio- demographic factors like mothers’ education, religion, caste and Socio economic status (SES) with the health status, healthcare awareness and child care practices. In this group of children, under nutrition and moderate to severe forms of malnutrition are lower than seen in other studies conducted in urban slums. Health seeking for the under five child revealed that the private sector was accessed more. Anganwadi services usage is not complete and better utilisation is seen in families with lower SES.
Conclusion: Morbidity patterns show continuing high prevalence of diarrhoea and ARI episodes in under five children. Education of the girl child continues to be a priority in India as she will be a mother and a home maker in the future. Education empowers the mother to take in more information and also to be a better decision maker.