Vol. 3, Issue 2 (2016)
Health status of Gujjar Tribal Preschoolers of district Udhampur, J & K
Author(s): Sarika Manhas, Shivangi Gupta
Abstract: The present study was undertaken to assess the nutritional status of Preschoolers belonging to Gujjar Tribe from Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir. The total sample for the study comprised of 100 preschooler-mother dyads selected from settled Gujjar families. Clinical signs and symptoms related to nutritional status was examined using checklist adapted from WHO Health Questionnaire comprising of nine major areas. Anthropometrical measurement including weight for age, height for age and weight for height were also assessed and later compared with WHO criterion (Z-score). The results of the study reveal that overall (68%) majority of sample preschoolers were found to be underweight, 60% were stunted and 77% were suffering from wasting. Majority of these children showed clinical signs of Protein Energy malnutrition. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies were also common including, Vitamin A deficiency characterised by paleness, dark circles and puffiness under eyes (52%). Vitamin C deficiency characterised by spongy, red and bleeding gums (57%) and Vitamin D deficiency characterised by bow legs (35%) and bone tenderness and joint pains (56%). Macronutrients and micronutrients deficiencies were also evident. Overall, results highlight that tribal gujjar children are highly susceptible to nutritional deficiencies and exhibit clinical signs of poor health.